Tax deductibility

Did you know that you can deduct your studies from your taxes? 

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Expenses are incurred everywhere - also in the area of education and further training. That's why you can deduct the tuition fees for your studies from your taxes. This way, you can get back up to 42% of your tuition fees. How much you can save depends on your individual situation. Under certain circumstances, the tuition fees for your first or second degree can be used to reduce your income tax burden. But also the financial burdens associated with your studies, such as travel costs, teaching materials and suchlike. And this is how it works: 

Who can claim the study costs against tax?

You can deduct these costs for your IU studies from your taxes.

Depending on whether you are completing your first or second degree, you can basically claim all costs associated with your IU studies for tax purposes - either in the form of specific invoices or as a lump sum. We have compiled the most important points for you to consider in your next tax return.

  • Tuition fees and semester contributions

  • Examination and seminar fees

  • Travel costs for attending classroom events (train tickets, petrol, etc. at a flat rate of 0.30 euros per kilometre)

  • Accommodation and hotel costs for examinations or seminars at another location

  • Meal allowances

  • Specialist literature, specialist books

  • Working and teaching aids such as computers, printers or software

  • Office and writing materials

  • Interest as part of the repayment of a student loan

  • Home office

  • Costs for double housekeeping, relocation or transport

  • Telephone and internet charges

  • Membership fees for student associations

  • Lawyer's fees and court costs

  • Application costs for internships

Professional expenses, special expenses and business expenses - which is it?

If you want to claim the study costs, expenses and fees for your IU studies on your tax return, your professional career plays an important role. This is because the tax office generally differentiates between a first degree for obtaining a professional qualification and a second degree or a second course of study. Depending on this, you must claim the total study costs either as income-related expenses, special expenses or business expenses. If you are not sure how to fill out the documents, it is best to get advice from the experts at the Lohnsteuerhilfe (LoHi) or a tax consultancy.

Unfortunately not deductible: Studying for fun and an IU degree financed by your employer

If you want to claim the expenses for your IU studies against tax, the tax office will take a very close look. Accordingly, there are of course a few exceptions in which you unfortunately cannot take the study costs into account to reduce your tax burden.

Hobby studies: Your IU studies must demonstrably contribute to your professional development or to the further education of already existing professional knowledge. If you are only studying out of personal interest or as a hobby, you can unfortunately not claim the tuition fees as a tax deduction.

Employer-funded IU studies: If your partner company pays the full amount of the tuition fees, e.g. as part of a dual study programme, you can unfortunately no longer submit these costs for your own tax return. You can only claim the expenses not reimbursed by your employer.

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