Study costs are expenses made for education to obtain a (better) position on the labour market or to maintain current work-related knowledge. The following costs can be deductible: application fee, enrolment fee, books and other literature and costs of exams. Costs of a language course can be deductible but only under certain strict conditions. Study costs have to be a financial burden to the person following the studies, meaning the fees may not be paid through a gift and/or scholarship(s).
Study expenses are deductible if paid from own funds are from borrowed funds, in the latter case we would recommend to prepare a qualifying loan agreement. If there is an entitlement to so called ‘studiefinanciering’, the rules are different.
Education costs can only be deductible as far as these exceed EUR 250 per year. The maximum deductible amount per year is EUR 15.000, so some careful planning could be interesting when following an expensive study course such as an MBA. This maximum does not apply for taxpayers who are not older than 30 years. For determining their maximum deductible amount the ‘standard study period’ is applicable. The standard study period is the period to be designated as such by the taxpayer of no more than 5 years in which the taxpayer is not older than 30 years during which the taxpayer spends most of his/her time with study/ education as a consequence of which a full time employment is not possible.
Study costs are a personal deduction and can be used by any (qualifying) Dutch tax resident with a taxable income in the Netherlands. The deduction can also be allocated to your fiscal partner. If there is no taxable income, the personal deduction can be saved and used in subsequent years, although a tax resident must file a tax return for the relevant year in which the study costs have been paid in order to claim back the deduction. We would be glad to advise you on filing your tax return.
Please note that in the tax plan 2017 an abolishing of the deduction of study expenses was taken up. However for now the abolishment has been withdrawn, in any case study expenses made in the year 2017 and 2018 are tax deductible under the rules as described above (however the above mentioned threshold and maximum are subject to possible changes in 2018 tax legislation).