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Are tuition fees from previous years deductible?


Question:

I studied for 2 years in the Netherlands, for which I paid tuition fees, without however working during these years. I graduated in December 2014 and got a temporary job position in March 2015, with several job interviews lined up for the summer. Can I file a tax return for the 2 years of tuition fees or is it too late now?

Answer:

You can file tax returns for the previous 5 years. A tax return for 2014 can be filed, but also a tax return for 2013 and 2012 in your situation. The tuition fees must be deducted in the year of payment and if there was no income in the year of deduction, the deduction will move forward to the following year until there is a year with (sufficient) income. 

Expatax assists with filing tax returns.

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Comments (2)
Comment by Ankit on Mon, Jan 2nd, 2017 at 1:43 PM
Hello, I read your website and appears I have similar situation. In my case, I paid about EUR 12000, EUR 4300 and EUR 13000 in year 2012, 2013 and 2014 for tuition fee for masters in Delft, which I think is tax deductible. I got employed since October 2014. So, I had almost no income before that. So, may be both tax averaging and tuition fee tax deductible might be applicable. Please let me know if its possible to do something about it. Thanks
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Jan 2nd, 2017 at 2:22 PM
To be able to deduct the tuition fees will have to be declared in a 2012, 2013 and 2014 tax return. The tuition fees will then first be deducted from the 2014 income and the remainder can be deducted from the 2015 income. For each year a tax return will have to be filed. After the tax returns are processed by the tax authorities it is possible to check whether it makes sense to claim an additional refund based on averaging income over the years. This may not be possible for 2014/2015 yet but may be more interesting if 2016 is included (or even 2017). So you may have to wait for that.
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