In the Netherlands it is possible to claim a deduction for educational expenses provided that certain conditions are met. The expenses only qualify if the study will give you a better position on the Dutch labor market. Expenses for a study or course as a hobby or out of personal interest do not qualify. Besides this, language courses including a Dutch language course, do not qualify as educational expenses. The expenses are not deductible if you are eligible for a study grant.

What costs can be taken into account?

Besides the tuition fee, the costs for books or materials specifically required for the study are also deductible. Not deductible are (a.o.) the following expenses:

  • a laptop, tablet or printer
  • travel expenses
  • interest on a study loan

What is the tax benefit?

The educational expenses can be claimed as a personal deduction. The maximum deduction that can be taken into account in one year is € 15,000. For taxpayers below the age of 30 and who are studying for less than five years there is no maximum. In all situation a threshold applies of € 250. The deduction can be claimed against the maximum tax rate that applies in your situation (e.g. maximum tax rate of 49.5% in the year 2020).

After 1 January 2022 it is not possible to claim a deduction for educational expenses in your tax return anymore. Instead you can apply for a ‘STAP-budget’, a budget to stimulate your labor position. The maximum budget is € 1,000 per taxpayer per year.

Can I still claim the benefit for previous years?

You can still claim the expenses for a previous tax year provided that the costs were made after 1 January 2017 as it is still possible to file a tax return for the previous 5 years. So in the year 2022 a tax return can still be filed for the years 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

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