When you get an exemption, you don't have to do something. In the sixties, some people got exemptions from military service during the Vietnam War.

We don't often think of being left out as a good thing, but when you use the word exemption, you mean that someone has been excluded in a positive way. Children are exemptions, or deductions, on tax forms; the more children you have the less taxes you pay. Some non-profits are tax-exempt; their exemption means they pay no taxes at all. Exemptions also spare people from fighting in wars and doing some jobs. An exemption gets you off the hook.

Definitions of exemption
  1. noun
    an act exempting someone
    synonyms: granting immunity, immunity
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    an exemption granted after influence (e.g., money) is brought to bear
    official immunity
    personal immunity accorded to a public official from liability to anyone injured by actions that are the consequence of exerting official authority
    sovereign immunity
    an exemption that precludes bringing a suit against the sovereign government without the government's consent
    testimonial immunity, use immunity
    an exemption that displaces the privilege against self-incrimination; neither compelled testimony or any fruits of it can be used against the witness who therefore can no longer fear self-incrimination
    transactional immunity
    a broader form of use immunity that also protects the witness from any prosecution brought about relating to transactions to which they gave testimony
    type of:
    discharge, release, waiver
    a formal written statement of relinquishment
  2. noun
    immunity from an obligation or duty
    synonyms: freedom
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    a period during which offenders are exempt from punishment
    diplomatic immunity
    exemption from taxation or normal processes of law that is offered to diplomatic personnel in a foreign country
    legal exemption from liability for damages
    exemption from punishment or loss
    grandfather clause
    an exemption based on circumstances existing prior to the adoption of some policy; used to enfranchise illiterate whites in south after the American Civil War
    type of:
    immunity, unsusceptibility
    the state of not being susceptible
  3. noun
    a deduction allowed to a taxpayer because of his or her status (having certain dependents or being blind or being over 65 etc.)
    “additional exemptions are allowed for each dependent”
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    type of:
    deduction, tax deduction, tax write-off
    a reduction in the gross amount on which a tax is calculated; reduces taxes by the percentage fixed for the taxpayer's income bracket
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