You are required by law to file your tax return every year before the April 15th deadline. For most people, you must file a correct number of dependents on your return for good benefits. A dependent is a person within the family of an individual filing their taxes who is below 23 years of age and can't provide for themselves. Most often they are children, and they provide big benefits for taxpayers. Dependents are also labeled as the people filing, so you can list yourself and your spouse as dependents. These benefits include income being exempt from your tax return, and depending on how many dependents you have it can be very beneficial. In 2016, every dependent exempts $4,050 from your taxable income. So if you happen to make $100,000 as a salary and you have 6 dependents listed on your return, then $24,300 will be exempt from your income. That means you will only have to pay income tax on $75,700, instead of the original amount. This would give you a big break on taxes. Often times, dependents allow the exemptions to get so high that the taxpayer actually drops down to a lower tax bracket, which is incredibly beneficial. But, with that said, when you lose your dependents it could cost you big time.