The costs made for a study that enables you to perform better or create a higher source of income are deductible for income tax purposes. The tuition fee, exams fee, books costs are deductible. Promotion costs including the costs related to the prescribed dress code of the promovendus are deductible. Costs related to the computer/laptop do not qualify for study costs. The latter is a substantial change to previous years up to 2012 where these costs could be deducted.
Study costs as mentioned above cannot be deducted in the income tax return when a benefit for the study has been received, or when a ‘prestatiebeurs’ (scholarship grant) has been received.
The maximum amount of deductible study costs per year is EUR 15.000 with a EUR 250 threshold. If you have EUR 15.000 study costs, but only EUR 10.000 income against which you can set off the study costs, then the balance of EUR 5.000 is set forward to the next year. Then you can deduct the previous year study costs.
However, if you spend much more than EUR 15.000 because you did for instance an MBA study, then your study cost deduction is limited to EUR 15.000. Example: You spend EUR 32.000 in study costs in 2012. Then you can deduct EUR 15.000 and you cannot deduct EUR 17.000. You can also not forward this EUR 17.000 to the following year.
Study costs can be deducted in the year the costs have actually been paid. That implies that if you know you will exceed the EUR 15.000 per year, that you need to find a solution resulting in you paying in a spread over more years.