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Is the invoice of an attorney tax deductible?

Question:
 
My partner lives in Belgium but was working in the Netherlands with a limited time contract. His employer fired him directly before a contract expiration date. This dismissal had no legal basis therefore my partner went for a professional legal help and in consequences the lawsuit against the employer was started. The court delivered a decision that the dismissal was unlawful and the employer had to pay back the salary equal to the months that had left to the end of the contract.
 
My partner had to pay a high invoice to his attorney for the legal advice and representation in the court. Is that cost tax deductible?
 
Answer:
 
Unfortunately the costs of the attorney are not deductible in his situation. The tax law states that costs related to employment income are not deductible with the exception of public transport costs. The employer may reimburse certain expenses tax free but if the employer doesn‘t do that it is not possible to deduct the expenses instead. An employment tax credit is applicable which depends on the amount of the employment income and this tax credit is supposed to cover the extra expenses. In many situations the credit is higher than the actual expenses but it can happen that the credit is lower, especially if the expenses are incidentally very high due to circumstances, but that is a consequence of the decisions which the Dutch government has made with the last big change of the tax system.

The Supreme Court of Justice confirmed on 4th January 2013 again that the costs of a lawyer or attorney which are made with respect to income from employment are not deductible.

Only if it concerns other type of income, like for example alimony, the attorney costs may be deductible.

If your husband did not have an income in the Netherlands the entire year it may be  beneficial to file a tax return . Expatax  can help you  with this.
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