One of the more frequently asked questions is if the Dutch course costs tax deductible are. These costs are study costs, but are these study costs actually tax deductible?
Dutch course costs tax deductible as study costs?
Study costs is a deduction possibility in the income tax return. The requirement to qualify for this deduction is that the financial position you can gain with this study, or better said, the job you can get with this study, should yield you a taxable income or an increased income compared to your current financial position.
Which costs can you deduct as study costs?
You can deduct the tuition fee you paid for the study. Let me repeat myself: you can deduct the tuition fee you paid for the study. That implies if you did not pay for the study, but your parents did or your grandmother, then the burden of the costs was not on you, hence you cannot deduct the study costs.
You need to have made the tuition payment while you are a tax resident in the Netherlands. Often the payment of the study is made up front before arrival, then these costs should be taken into account in the tax return of the country you were living at that time of payment.
Besides tuition fee you can deduct the costs to take an exam. If the study obliges you to purchase items such as a hairdresser scissors, hammer, paint accessories, books, cd, software etc, these costs are tax deductible.
A computer or laptop and its hardware is not tax deductible.
Which study costs you cannot deduct?
Cost of living, interest on study debt, travel costs, housing, excursion costs, costs of decorating study room and explicitly mentioned the costs of Inburgeringscursus.
Are Dutch course costs tax deductible?
No. They are not.
The reason is simple. The course to learn Dutch, or English, Italian or French for that matter, is to general to pin point that course to getting a job and improve your financial position. You might argue that you are from abroad, do not know the language and you have been told it becomes easier getting a job when you speak Dutch. That might be true, but Dutch you can also use to do your groceries, go out for a nice evening, book a holiday. Such a course can never be connected to getting a better financial position, hence not deductible.
Initially we agreed with the foreign tax payer that these courses do help you get in the system and the financial system much easier. Initially we thought it could be up for discussion. But since many years we have learned that it is not up for debate. The tax office has a strong stand point in this field, Dutch language courses are not tax deductible.