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Can I deduct the international school fees of my children under the 30% ruling?


Question:

I see on your website that there is a benefit for tuition fees for international schools associated with the 30% ruling. I spend around €23k per year to send my son to an international school. Is this something I can submit as part of my tax return?

b. the amount of the tuition fees. Tuition fees are payments for children of the extraterritorial employee to participate in primary or secondary education at international schools and international departments of noninternational schools, up to the amounts charged by the school according to its rates for education, with the exception of costs and accommodation expenses but including travelling expenses.

Answer:

The costs of the international school can be reimbursed by your employer to you tax free on top of the 30% tax free allowance which you already receive. This is possible while you have the 30% ruling. It is not possible to claim a deduction for the costs if your employer is not willing to reimburse the costs. You may consider to discuss with your employer to exchange certain taxable benefits (for example a bonus) into a tax free reimbursement of the international school fees. This will of course have consequences for benefits related to your taxable income (which is reduced because of this exchange) like the 30% allowance, social security benefits and pension. Since the payroll will become much more complicated and because of the effect it may have on other expats with the 30% ruling employers often do not cooperate with this. In my experience most employers decide that the costs of the international school are a personal expense of the employee which they won't reimburse.

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