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Tuition fees - can I double the 15k deduction via my tax partner?


I am starting an MBA later this year and the annual cost will be substantially higher than 15,000 euros (which i can use as tax deduction). I have a tax partner (my wife) - can I deduct 15k per person or only 15k maximum for myself?


There are 3 possible situations:

You had no tax partner during the whole year.
You had a tax partner during the whole year.
You had a tax partner part of the year.

You had no tax partner during the whole year

Only deduct your own education costs.

You had a tax partner during the whole year

You can add your own deductible education costs together. Reduce these costs with an allowance you received and the threshold of € 500 (€ 250 in 2013). The maximum deduction is € 15,000 (per partner). If your tax partner also had education costs, also add your partners costs. Also reduce these costs with a received allowance and the threshold and check that your partners costs are below the maximum deduction. Then you may distribute the deductible amount between both tax returns as you wish, as long as the total deduction is 100%. The maximum deduction of € 15,000 must be determined for each partner separately. You can not distribute the part of the deduction which was below the maximum for your partner to your own tax return and this way increase your own deduction. So first calculate the deductions on an individual basis and then see if you can distribute the deductions over both tax returns in a different way. 

You had a tax partner part of the year

Were you tax partners part of the year? And you did not choose to be considered tax partners for the whole year? Then only deduct your own education costs in your tax return. 

If you choose to be tax partners the whole year you can add all education costs together like under 2 and divide the deduction between each tax return the way it is most beneficial to you. 

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Comments (2)
Comment by Onio on Fri, Jul 8th, 2016 at 10:48 AM
Hi Expatax team, Firstly, Thanks for such an enormous help! Is it possible to distribute my tuition fee amounted to 15k on my tax partner? He has 30 percent ruling. In order not to fall in lower tax bracket, I want to split the amount in three for the possible highest return. Looking forward to your enlightenment. Thanks.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Aug 9th, 2016 at 3:56 PM
It is possible to distribute the tuition fee between you and your fiscal partner the way it is most beneficial for you. The fee must be deducted entirely in the year of payment. But you can decide which percentage is included in your tax return and which percentage in your partners tax return. The payment can therefore within a year be divided in two parts, not 3 parts. If you spread the actual payment over more than 1 year then you have more options to distribute the payments in the tax returns.
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