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Can I deduct my education costs?

If you have decided to follow a course or to go to university, for example to get your MBA, these costs can be deductible.

When can I deduct the education costs?

You can deduct the study costs if the purpose of the study is to get a better job, to improve your job or to make a career step within the current company. The study must be work related. Studies followed as a hobby are not deductible, it must be evident that the study can be used to earn an (higher) income. Important is that there is a learning process. You must study under guidance or supervision of a teacher. It doesn't matter whether the study is provided by an official institution like a university or by a commercial organisation and whether it is offline or online. 

The following costs can be deductible

  • enrolment fee
  • application fee
  • costs of exams
  • books and other literature
  • materials and teaching aids
  • costs of a promotion (PhD)

The following costs are never deductible

  • computer equipment (including tablets, notebooks, internetconnection and other devices). No longer possible from 2014.
  • your own life support, like housing, food and clothes
  • travel costs and costs of staying somewhere else
  • costs of study trips and excursions
  • costs for a room where you can study including furniture
  • interest on study loans

Minimum and maximum amount

Education costs can only be deductible if they are more than € 250. The first € 250 are not deductible (up to 2013 the threshold was € 500). The maximum deductible amount per year is € 15,000. This maximum is not applicable during the so called "standard study period". The standard study period is a maximum period of 16 quarters during which the majority of time is spent on the study, leaving not enough time to also have a full time job. The standard study period lies between the day you become 18 and the day you become 30. You can decide when the period starts. The period doesn't have to be one continuous period. 
Reimbursement / study finance
If the employer pays or reimburses part of the fees the deduction is reduced with the reimbursement from the employer. If you are entitled to study finance from the Dutch government you will not be able to claim a deduction anymore for studies which start in 2015. Until 2015 the study finance had to be deducted from the deductible costs. 
Who can claim a deduction

The deduction only concerns costs made for yourself or your fiscal partner. Costs made for your children, like university fees or international school fees are never deductible as education costs in your tax return. The costs must also be paid by yourself or your fiscal partner. 
Year of deduction

For the deduction it is relevant when the costs were paid. If the costs of your study in a year are higher than the maximum annual deductible amount of € 15,000 then look at the possibilities you have to spread payments over multiple years. 
The deduction is calculated per calendar year. The study costs however may see on a year which starts in one year and ends in the following year. 
Dutch language course
Costs of a Dutch language course are not deductible since these costs are too general. This is only different if the Dutch language course is required to follow additional education.
Be aware that the actual refund depends on the income you earned in the same year and the tax bracket you are in. The higher the tax rate you pay, the higher the tax refund will be. If you didn't earn an income in the year of study it is possible to carry forward the deduction to the first year with income. A low income in a year will lead to a low benefit for you of the tax deduction. If you earn for example € 7,000 in a year the tax you will have to pay will already be zero due to the applicable tax credits. A deduction of education costs will then not really benefit you. 
Filing a tax return to claim the deduction
Expatax can help you with your tax return. See
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Comments (104)
Comment by remy on Mon, Jun 4th, 2012 at 1:52 AM
i was an international student in netherlands since 2009, i paid around 6,000 - 7,000 euro per year for the school fees. but this year i have a new resident permit with my dutch partner. is it possible to apply for the refund money from what i had paid for my school before?
Comment by tiziana on Wed, Oct 24th, 2012 at 11:01 AM
can i deduct the costs of my german course and the costs of my partner french course?
Comment by arjan enneman on Wed, Oct 24th, 2012 at 12:09 PM
the costs of a german or french course are deductible if they are required for your work or will help you to improve your career. so there must be a link with your current or future job, with the intention to earn a higher salary or get a better function due to the course. a dutch language course on the other hand is normally not accepted as a deduction. the government assumes that everybody in the netherlands has to learn/know dutch which makes it too general.
Comment by ana on Wed, Dec 12th, 2012 at 7:03 PM
i dont quality for the inburgering courses so the city council told me i have to pay for my own courses. in order to learn dutch, i have to pay for my own courses. can i claim this on my taxes? i plan to enroll next year andi thought this is a fair deduction since i don‘t speak no ducth and i need to be able to integrate. the tax office mandates insurance but not dutch. i would rather pay for dutch courses than insurance.
Comment by arjan enneman on Wed, Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:46 AM
unfortunately for you the deduction of the dutch language course is not allowed unless the course is done with the specific aim to do another course or study which requires dutch. see also
Comment by arjan enneman on Fri, Feb 15th, 2013 at 2:07 AM
@remy. a deduction of education costs which you paid in the past may be possible, see
Comment by harish on Wed, Oct 16th, 2013 at 11:42 PM
hello,i am under 30 yrs and i was working till sept in holland and then joined mba, i am paying 15k in college fees, am i eligible for tax return on education costs when i file tax for 2013 next year?regards
Comment by arjan enneman on Sat, Nov 9th, 2013 at 11:15 PM
@harish: yes, you can deduct the costs of the mba from the income you earned in 2013. expatax can help you with the tax return. see
Comment by student on Mon, Jan 13th, 2014 at 8:57 PM
Hello, I took a loan from my employer and paid my MBA fees of 15500 in December 2013. I have to pay the full amount back to my employer in the next year. Can I deduct 15000 at cost of studies in the tax return that I file in 2014 ? The employer has given me documents showing its a loan.
Comment by arjan enneman on Sun, Feb 2nd, 2014 at 12:22 AM
you can deduct the education costs in the year of payment. you should indeed keep the loan agreement as proof.
Comment by agnes on Sun, Feb 9th, 2014 at 5:05 PM
Hello, could you please help me with my question? I started studying last year, and paid university fees and for books. I am afraid I did not keep the receipts for books. Are they necessary to deduct those costs? Thank you, Agnes
Comment by arjan enneman on Fri, Feb 21st, 2014 at 7:11 PM
Agnes, when you deduct the education costs in your tax return you do not have to provide proof immediately. Only if your tax return is audited (which may not happen) the tax authorities may request proof that you paid the education costs. If you don
Comment by rustam on Sun, Feb 23rd, 2014 at 10:57 AM
I am working as a lawyer in Amsterdam. and I did my ll.m. course in 2011-2012. Can I still get the tuition fee refund (deduction)? And if yes, where can I get application (forms) to fill (online)? Thank you in advance!
Comment by dex on Tue, Mar 4th, 2014 at 3:09 PM
hello,does that literally mean that if mba spreads over two years, and costs 35000 eur in total, that approx. 30000 eur are returned via tax return, making the final cost of mba ~5000 eur?note that i am kennismigrant with 30% allowance, and am only for 2 years resident of the netherlands.thanks!!
Comment by arjan enneman on Tue, Mar 11th, 2014 at 11:51 PM
@dex the tax refund depends on the applicable tax rate. if the average tax rate you pay is 40% then the tax refund will (roughly) be 40% of the paid education costs. so the refund will be lower in your situation.
Comment by lurong on Tue, Apr 8th, 2014 at 5:37 PM
hi,my husband worked in the Netherlands since 2013 and I came here last October to accompany him without working. Now I decide to take a master program, can my husband get deduction of my eduction fee?
Comment by arjan enneman on Thu, Apr 17th, 2014 at 6:27 PM
@lurong since you and your husband are fiscal partners your husband can deduct your (qualifying) education costs in his tax return. if you need help with it don‘t hesitate to contact us.
Comment by nandy on Fri, Apr 18th, 2014 at 11:33 AM
hi, i got a job as a knowledge migrant before i graduated here in netherlands based on my work experience before my masters. so i ended up paying tution fee while working as knowledge migrant. will this university fee be applicable for the deduction?
Comment by pc on Sat, May 24th, 2014 at 9:38 AM
below is my situation:my education costs in 2011 is 16000 eurosmy wifes education costs in 2013 is 18000 canadian dollars (around 12000 euros)i haven‘t filed tax return since 2010 and my wife hasn‘t filed tax returns since 2012. the tax witheld (loonbelasting) in 2010, 2011 , 2012 and 2013 for me are 10000, 4000, 7000 and 20000 respectively.for my wife the tax witheld in 2011 and 2012 are 2700 and 12700.can i distribute my education costs over 2010 till 2013 such that i can claim for the full amount for me and my wife?how much tax refund can i expect for the education costs?
Comment by ankit agarwal on Tue, May 27th, 2014 at 6:43 PM
hello,i am a graduate student in holland. i paid around 13000 euros each year for 2 years. now, i am planning to do a phd in holland. i will be getting around 2000 euros gross with no 30% ruling. i think the tax will be around 34%. do you think all the tuition fee of around 26000 euros can be used as educational cost tax refund over 4 year? or i am only eligible for 34% of the 26000 euros as i pay 34% tax.
Comment by pritham on Wed, Jun 25th, 2014 at 9:11 AM
hello! very informative article. a add on question from me - can i claim a refund for an executive mba pursued in a foreign university (outside of nl) ? if so, then the max of 15k per year still holds good ? (minus the initial 250 of course).
Comment by iskender on Wed, Jun 25th, 2014 at 10:00 PM
hi! i did a master program in the netherlands and now working as knowledge migrant (without 30% ruling) for 1,5 years here. however, i have never applied for tax refund for both years (apparently, did not know) 1) can i still apply for those years for a tax refund? 2) when can i apply for a tax refund to receive a refund for educational costs (is there a certain period each year)? 3)i don‘t have a proof of payment from my account for education (but i have a proof from university that the fee was paid), would it be sufficient in order to apply? 4) if i paid 10 k euros, and i have a 42 % tax rate, what would be the possible net amount i will receive back? thank you very much in advance for your answer.
Comment by Mayank on Thu, Jun 26th, 2014 at 7:23 PM
Hi, Thanks for helping so many people much appreciate your efforts.I am working full time and want to pursue a part time MBA, for which I can get a tax deduction. I am not sure about one thing so wanted to ask you.If I paid this year tuition fee of 15,000 euros and I pay tax 20,000 euros. Can I claim the whole 15,000 euros as return,or if I pay on avg 40% tax then only 40% of the 15,000 i.e 6000 ? Thanks in advance.
Comment by Fran on Tue, Jul 22nd, 2014 at 11:09 AM
Hi, I work in the tourism industry in Netherlands since 4 years ago and independently I would like to take an audiovisual course up to 10.000e to hopefully change my career in the future. Could I deduct my educational costs?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Thu, Aug 7th, 2014 at 4:28 PM
Important is that you follow the course to get a (better) job in the future. If that is the case the costs are deductible.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Thu, Aug 7th, 2014 at 4:34 PM
@pritham Costs of a foreign MBA study can also be deducted. The maximum of 15k remains applicable.
Comment by fab on Tue, Nov 25th, 2014 at 8:25 PM
I am planning an MBA - understood 15k/yr is the max amount deductible. How will the tax reduction work? Is the yearly payment calculated on top of the income or is it deducted based on the average tax % paid? Is it then again a pure further tax reduction or is it a reimbursement? Thanks
Comment by fab on Wed, Nov 26th, 2014 at 4:55 PM
What if the company sponsors part of the study? Can I claim tax refund also for this part or only for the part I actually paid from my bank account? It is actually a company loan that got expired (no refund) after a certain period.
Comment by Haroon Sadiq on Fri, Nov 28th, 2014 at 5:34 PM
Hi,I read on many websites that cost of PC is tax deductible but in this article on your website I see an update that it is not possible anymore (from 2014). Can you please clarify? Can you give me a reference to belastingdienst website where this information is available?Thanks!Regards,Haroon
Comment by imre600 on Mon, Dec 8th, 2014 at 5:34 PM
Hi,I took a loan for my master year. Now, I have paid off the loan. Can I deduct the interest that I was charged for the loan?
Comment by laura on Sat, Dec 27th, 2014 at 1:46 AM
I got a scholarship for my studies from my department. I still paid my tuition fee to the school and received the scholarship from my department. May I still apply for the refund money for educational cost? Thanks!
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Jan 20th, 2015 at 11:14 PM
@imre600. The intrest on a study loan is not deductible. Only the actual education costs itself.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Wed, Jan 21st, 2015 at 12:16 AM
@haroon. A computer (or tablet, notebook, internet connection, printer etc.) is indeed no longer deductible as education cost since 1 January 2014. Every year tax deductions change and the authorities decided to change the deduction of certain education costs too, for example the computer.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Wed, Jan 21st, 2015 at 8:00 PM
If you receive a (partial) reimbursement of the education costs from your employer, a scholarship or fund then you first declare the deductible education costs and then declare the reimbursement you received in the next question in the tax return. Education costs will only lead to a refund for the part of the costs which actually weigh on you.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Wed, Jan 21st, 2015 at 8:05 PM
The education costs will be deducted from the total income. The actual refund depends on the applicable tax brackets and tax rates. So the deduction can be spread over one or more tax brackets. A deduction of 15,000 Euro leads to a refund of 52% of this amount if your taxable income, even after the deduction, falls in the highest tax bracket of 52%. If the taxable income falls in a lower tax bracket due to the deduction, part of the refund will be based on the 52% tax rate and part on the 42% tax rate. So the refund will differ in each situation.
Comment by Jane on Sun, Mar 1st, 2015 at 8:12 PM
Can education costs be deducted also by self-employed? For example, if I am registered as a self-employed artist, can I deduct the cost of studying in an art university in the Netherlands? Thanks!
Comment by Sukumar on Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015 at 11:25 AM
Hi,I am a NON-EU citizen, working in Eindhoven as a knowledge migrant and I have 30% ruling.My wife wants to do a masters from Netherlands either from govt. or private institute in 2015. For non-EU citizens, the annual course fee for masters is nearly 14000-20000 EURO. I am wondering whether I shall be able to get some money back out of the above mentioned tuition fee when I submit my tax return in 2016? If yes, what % of the tuition fee can I get back?Thanks.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Thu, Apr 2nd, 2015 at 12:05 AM
@Sukumar. Your wife‘s education costs can be deducted in your tax return. Be aware of the maximum possible deduction of 15,000 Euro per year. The refund depends on the tax bracket your income falls into. If your income falls in the 42% tax bracket you will roughly get back 42% of the paid education cost. It could be less due to the 250 Euro threshold and the effect of the lower tax brackets, but that really depends on your income.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Wed, Apr 8th, 2015 at 4:51 PM
@Jane. Education costs can also be deducted if you are self employed. It depends on the education whether the costs can be deducted as pure education costs (with the mentioned conditions) or as self employed expenses (without the mentioned conditions).
Comment by Maria on Fri, Apr 10th, 2015 at 11:23 PM
Hello, I was a PhD student in 2010-2014, and I was receiving salary. Is my PhD position considered as a study by the tax authorities? Can I deduct some PhD-relevant expenses (for example, in 2012 I have bough a computer for my work and study)?
Comment by Simone Tanzi on Wed, Aug 5th, 2015 at 3:39 PM
Hi, I work in the Netherlands and I would like to take an MBA in Italy. I am under the 30% regulation and my taxable income is about 42000 € (after 30% reduction). Is it correct that I can benefit of tax reduction also with the 30% rule? If I deduct 15000 €/year, my taxable income will drop to 27000 €, then I will be in a lower tax bracket, right? At 42000€ I pay 42% tax, how much will I pay at 27000 €. How much will I be able to save? Are there any age limitations at 30 for deduction of educational cost? I‘m 31 yo. Thanks!
Comment by Marc on Mon, Aug 10th, 2015 at 8:27 AM
I am an eu citizen living in the Netherlands but the course i am studying is through the UK can i claim the taxes on this or will i need to go through the UK? The course i am studying will ensure my promotion at work when complete.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Aug 10th, 2015 at 11:06 AM
@Marc For the deduction of the education costs it is not relevant whether the study you followed is with a Dutch institute or a foreign institute, nor whether you go there in person or follow the study online. Relevant is that you are tax resident of the Netherlands and the study is followed to improve your (future) work career.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Wed, Aug 12th, 2015 at 4:00 PM
@Simone: Also with the 30% ruling you can deduct the costs of the MBA. Due to the 30% ruling and the deduction of the MBA fee your taxable income will indeed be lower. Your taxable income reaches the 2nd tax bracket for which the total rate is also 42%. See This means you can get a tax refund of 42% of the MBA fee (minus the 250 Euro threshold). There is no (fixed) age limit to the deduction of education costs although the court decided in a case where a man who was already long retired (age 80+ years) couldn‘t deduct the education costs since it could not be expected that he would find a job because of it. But if you are 30 or 31 then you don‘t have to worry about that. There is no link with the 30% ruling either.
Comment by horatiu on Wed, Aug 19th, 2015 at 1:54 PM
Hi - I am a full time international employee with a Dutch company; my wife decided to quit her job and enrolled for a Master study with Delft University; I have two questions: 1. can I include the tuition fees for her master study in my income tax return as deductible expense? the tuition fee is EUR 2,000 per year; 2. can I include her public transportation costs for traveling from from home to university? Thanks!
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Fri, Aug 28th, 2015 at 3:04 PM
@horatiu. Your wife needs to claim the deduction of the education costs in her own tax return. Since you are fiscal partners it is then possible to divide the deduction to your tax return to actually benefit from the deduction. So both partners will have to file a tax return for this. Her travel costs are not deductible.
Comment by tara on Wed, Sep 9th, 2015 at 1:56 AM
The link below opens a page in the govt tax website. It is mentioned that study costs from 2015 september onwards are not eligible for deductions. Is that correct. Please explain. Studiejaar 2015/2016 en later U kunt de kosten voor deze studiejaren niet aftrekken.
Comment by Heather on Wed, Sep 16th, 2015 at 9:29 AM
Hi there - I did a masters in the UK from 2014 - 2015 and then secured a position in NL starting October 2015. I am therefor a tax resident starting October 2015. The masters helped me secure my current position. Can I claim this tuition expense, even though I was not an NL tax resident at the time of study? The expense and my tax resident status will have occurred in the same year (2015). Appreciate your guidance!
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Wed, Sep 23rd, 2015 at 11:05 AM
@tara The information on the website of the tax authorities concerns the deduction of education costs if you receive study finance from the Dutch government. In that case a deduction is not possible anymore as of the 2015/2016 school year. If you don‘t receive study finance the education costs can be deducted.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Wed, Sep 23rd, 2015 at 11:07 AM
@Heather. Only if 90% of your income in the year 2015 is earned in the Netherlands you may qualify as tax resident in the Netherlands for the whole year in which case it may be possible to deduct your educations costs which you made in the UK period.
Comment by Tara Prasad Panda on Wed, Sep 23rd, 2015 at 11:44 AM
Thanks Arjan for taking out the time to answer my query. Appreciate your commitment! Regards, Tara Prasad
Comment by Rathore on Sun, Nov 8th, 2015 at 4:42 PM
Hi Arjan - I am employed full time in NL and I wish to start a part time MBA with a university in Spain. My employer will also contribute EUR 25K to my study (directly to the school) out of the total fee of roughly EUR 50K. My question is that will I be able to claim a tax benefit on the EUR 25K that I will pay from my own resources (despite the fact that my employer is paying almost 50% for the study program)?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Nov 9th, 2015 at 3:22 PM
You can indeed claim a tax benefit for the part of the fee you pay (50%), Be aware of the maximum deductible amount of 15k per year. So you may want to spread your payments over 2 years.
Comment by Alex on Wed, Nov 18th, 2015 at 2:20 PM
Hi Arjan, between 2012 and 2014 I did a Masters degree in France. I started a position in the Netherlands in May 2015. The degree was relevant to my current job. Can I claim a tax deduction in any form even though I started and finished my studies outside the Netherlands? If my income for 2015 is under 90% (so that I do not qualify for any refund in 2015), can I then get a deduction on my education expenses in 2016 and after, provided I will continue working in the Netherlands? Thank you!
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Nov 23rd, 2015 at 5:23 PM
Education costs have to be deducted in the year of payment. Only if you had income in the Netherlands in that year (as non resident) a deduction will be possible. Since you did the master degree entirely in the foreign period with no income in the Netherlands you can‘t claim a deduction. It is not possible to claim a deduction in a later year with income in your case.
Comment by Alex on Fri, Nov 27th, 2015 at 12:04 PM
Thanks, Arjan. As a follow-up, I am wondering if it is possible to (at least partly) deduct the repayment of the principal and/or the interest on the loan that I took to finance my studies in 2012. These payments are occurring monthly simultaneous to my salary income in the Netherlands.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Fri, Nov 27th, 2015 at 3:09 PM
No, only the education costs are deductible (in the year of payment). The costs of a loan to finance the education are not deductible.
Comment by Iris on Wed, Jan 20th, 2016 at 2:23 PM
Hi Arjan, Two questions. 1. My company is paying for my current study but I have been paying the books myself. The total cost of books for 2015 was only 80-90Euros. According to the above, I can not claim this back cuz it is lower than the threshold? 2. I live in Utrecht but study at Tilburg University. Can I claim those travelling expenses? Thanks in advance, Eirini
Comment by Kevin P on Fri, Jan 22nd, 2016 at 4:38 PM
Hi Arjan, Does the tax deduction apply to international study as well? I am starting an Executive MBA this year in the US, which operates on a modular basis (one week every month). It is in a University in the US and I am tax resident and receive my salary in the Netherlands. Thanks, Kevin
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Fri, Jan 22nd, 2016 at 7:16 PM
Yes, it is also possible to deduct international study, as long as you are tax resident in the Netherlands when the payment for the study is made (and while you are studying).
Comment by nitinkrishnan on Sun, Jan 24th, 2016 at 12:37 AM
Hi Arjan, It wil be very helpful if you could guide me in this. I am from India and I did my masters at Tu/e in the years 2013 Aug - 2015 Aug. I paid around € 12500‚ for 2013 Aug - 2014 Aug. I paid around € 13500 for 2014 Aug- 2015 Aug. I started working from 2015 mid September. The loonheffing which I paid for 2015 is around € 2000 only. But in 2016, I will be paying around € 8000. I have two doubts 1) Can I get all my money back if I split the application to 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2) Can I get only the € 2000 I spent on 2015 as loonheffing. ?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Wed, Jan 27th, 2016 at 12:34 PM
In 2015 you will deduct the education costs you paid in 2015 and also the education costs which remain from 2013 and 2014 (for these years also a tax return must be filed). Due to the deduction your income in 2015 will be zero and the tax authorities will refund the wittheld 2,000 Euro to you. The part of the education costs which couldn‘t be deducted in 2015 (since your deduction was higher than the income) can be deducted in 2016. If there is no sufficient income in 2016 the then remaining deduction will be forwarded to 2017.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Thu, Jan 28th, 2016 at 9:20 AM
@iris Books are deductible but indeed only if the total costs exceed the threshold of 250 Euro. Travel costs are not deductible anymore unfortunately.
Comment by Karl on Sun, Jan 31st, 2016 at 12:45 AM
I finished my master recently, I was wondering whether I could get a refund from taxes after I work one year in Netherlands (taxable income within 42% brackets). As nitinkrishnan, I paid almost similar tuition fees in a Dutch university. I would like to know whether I can get a refund, and, how is this procedure? And lastly, what if I continue for more years working in this nation. Please take into account that I was an international student Non-European. Beforehand, thx for your help and guidance.
Comment by Laura on Mon, Feb 1st, 2016 at 11:24 AM
Hi Arjan, if I pay tuition fee in August 2013 for September 2013 - August 2014, 1) should I fill in 2013 for the whole amount? 2) can I fill in for 2014? or 3) can I split into 2013 / 2014? Thanks for your help
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Feb 1st, 2016 at 1:24 PM
@Laura The education costs must be deducted in the year of payment. So if you made the payment for 2013/2014 in 2013 then you have to claim a deduction in 2013. If not the whole deduction can be claimed while there was no sufficient income, the remainder of the deduction can be forwarded to the following year. @Karl The same answer on your question. Deduction must be claimed in year of payment. It is not possible to carry the deduction forward to a year in which you earned the most income. But you can deduct the costs anyway. For this a tax return must be filed, see
Comment by Shashank on Wed, Feb 24th, 2016 at 8:13 PM
Hi Arjan, I pursued my MBA from Rotterdam starting January 2015. I will be graduating in March this year and start working in the same month as well. I will be paying 52% tax this year onwards. When can I apply for refund and how much would I be eligible for ? Is it mandatory that I have to complete one year of work in Netherlands to be eligible for the refund ? Thanks!
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Apr 5th, 2016 at 9:31 PM
If you paid the MBA fees in 2015 then you need to file a tax return for 2015 in which the education costs are deducted. You didn‘t pay any tax in 2015 yet so there won‘t be a refund yet. The deduction will then be forwarded to 2016. Since you will have paid tax in 2016 due to your work the 2016 tax return will lead to a refund. But this tax return can only be filed in 2017. The refund will be between say 35% and 50% of the fees you paid. That depends on the actual amounts. You don‘t have to complete one year of work to be eligible for the refund.
Comment by laszlo on Mon, Apr 25th, 2016 at 10:15 AM
Hello i found the article very useful, but I would have a short question. Can we claim back the taxes if we have 30% ruling and the MBA studies were made abroad but I am employed in netherlands?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Wed, Apr 27th, 2016 at 10:38 AM
If you have the 30% ruling you can also deduct the education costs, but it may be that due to the 30% ruling your salary falls in a lower tax bracket and as a consequence the education deduction will be deducted against a lower tax rate. Deduction of foreign MBA fees is possible, if you were tax resident in het Netherlands when you paid the fees.
Comment by Ferry on Wed, Jun 29th, 2016 at 7:29 AM
hi Arjan...I am ferry. I am now employed without 30% ruling. in 2013-2015 i studied in the netherlands. I was 32 when i started the study. Am i still eligible for the education cost deduction?
Comment by xyz on Mon, Aug 1st, 2016 at 5:36 PM
Hi Arjan, I pursued masters in the netherlands from 2011-2014. I had a scholarship foundation pay for all my education costs for the first two years but I had to spend for the third year myself. I never deducted the education costs since I started working in 2015. Is it possible to deduct these costs when I file my tax return for 2016 ? If yes, the first two years ought to be excluded by default ? Now I work here with a 30pc ruling. Would that affect the amount of tax return ? Hoping to hear from you.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Wed, Aug 17th, 2016 at 3:21 PM
@Ferry: It is possible to file tax returns for the years 2013-2015 in which you deduct the education costs. The deduction can then be carried forward to the first year in which you earn an income and possibly also the next year. Whether and how much this will benefit you depends on the tax you paid in the year with income.
Comment by Gerelee on Fri, Aug 19th, 2016 at 12:38 AM
Hey Arjan, thanks for all the information, they have been helpful. I have still puzzle in me. This September, I will be starting masters, since august i have started to work as a part timer. Since my tax return will be of little or none for 2016, my question is that if i can claim the full education expense (total: 15k) on my partner including the part to be financed by my non-eu parents abroad. PS: Me and my partner moved here this may, he started earning as of may. not a tax payer for the full fiscal year. Thanks a lot.
Comment by Andy on Tue, Aug 23rd, 2016 at 6:22 PM
Hello, is it correct to say that you cannot get the tax reimbursement For studies, if you are above 30 years of age.? You have mentioned the standard study period between 18 yrs and 30 yrs of age. Thanks for the information. Kind Regards
Comment by Bayar on Thu, Aug 25th, 2016 at 10:07 PM
Hi Arjan, how much do you think being a tax resident of only 8months in 2016 will affect the tax refund of 15000 euro education cost, total gross salary of 55000, 30 percent ruling to be applied to this amount, and lastly started working since may first. for the highest possible return, what would you suggest on tax claim? to split the cost in two years by paying in instalments or something else or maybe no difference at all? million thanks.
Comment by Ressa on Tue, Aug 30th, 2016 at 6:41 AM
Hi I received a scholarship under the NFP. I was told that this is going to be taxed. However, it is nowhere written in the guidelines nor is it in the contract. How can this be? Also if indeed it is to be taxed how do you calculate the amount to be taxed? I understand that for annual salaries below E10,000 there is no tax. Will this be similar to the categories shown in Box 1 of the tax rates where it is written 8.4% deductible to the annual salary for the least income bracket?
Comment by Stefano on Fri, Sep 2nd, 2016 at 6:59 AM
Hi guys I have a question. I live and work in NL. Can I deduct my taxes with the same or different rules if I study my MBA (for example) in London? (Considering the Brexit also).
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Sep 12th, 2016 at 6:28 PM
@xyz: for the years you received full scholarship it is not possible to claim a deduction if all costs were covered by the scholarship. For the third year a deduction is possible. But the deduction will have to be claimed in the 2014 tax return and then the deduction will have to be carried forward to the first year in which you have income. So you will have to file a tax return for 2014 and 2016.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Sep 12th, 2016 at 6:38 PM
@Gerelee: fiscal partners can divide the deduction of education costs in the tax returns between each other. You can choose what is most beneficial.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Sep 12th, 2016 at 6:40 PM
@Andy: you can claim a deduction if you are older than 30 years. The age requirement refered to the standard study period during which there is no maximum to the deduction.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Sep 12th, 2016 at 7:01 PM
@Bayar: if the 30% ruling will be calculated on the amount of EUR 55,000 then your taxable salary will go down. Due to this the salary will fall in the 42% tax bracket instead of the 52% tax bracket. So you will lose 10% on your deduction there if your salary in 2017 is falling in the 52% tax bracket, also after the education costs are deducted. So it really depends on the actual taxable income at the end of the year to know what would be the most beneficial split.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Sep 12th, 2016 at 7:20 PM
@Ressa: it may indeed be that the tax authorities want to tax the NFP scholarship. That is not entirely clear to me. The tax authorities allowed in the past that the NFP scholarships remained tax free based on an agreement with a university, but it looks like the tax authorities are moving towards taxation of the scholarship. I don‘t know what will happen. But indeed, due to tax credits taxation can remain low if the scholarship will stay below EUR 10,000. And possibly education costs can be deducted if the scholarship is taxed.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Sep 12th, 2016 at 7:21 PM
@Stefano: the costs of a foreign education can also be deducted, also if the education takes place outside the EU. Of course the intention of the study must be to earn an income in the Netherlands.
Comment by justo on Fri, Oct 14th, 2016 at 10:58 AM
I am an international student and I paid 13.500 euros for tuition in the academic year 2015/2016, but my resident status change in July 2016 to living with partner which entitles me the same right as other EU student. However, I want to know if I can request for a partial tuition refund since my resident status change within the academic year 2015/2016. Thanks and hope to read from you
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Tue, Nov 8th, 2016 at 1:46 PM
A deduction is possible if you were tax resident in the Netherlands in the calendar year in which you paid the tuition fee. So for the deduction the calendar year is relevant, not the academic year and whether you were tax resident in the Netherlands when the payment was made.
Comment by Jesee on Fri, Dec 30th, 2016 at 1:33 AM
Hey Arjan, I completed my masters studies from netherlands. I might go outside netherlands for my Phd or work. If I come back to Netherlands in a later stage will I be still eligible for tax refund for 2 year of masters.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Jan 2nd, 2017 at 3:06 PM
That is possible. You can file a tax return five years back. So as long as you are in that 5 years period you can decide to wait with filing a tax return for the year in which you had study costs till you are sure that you come back to the Netherlands for work. If you want to be sure you can file a tax return any way. The study costs which couldn‘t deduct in the year of payment can be forwarded indefinitly till the first year(s) with income (or till the law changes....).
Comment by Anonymous on Sun, Jan 22nd, 2017 at 2:37 PM
Hello, The fees for 2017 and 2018 (a two-year course) are 23,500 Euros payable in a lump sum upfront in February 2017. Is it possible to divide the amount equally over the 2017 and 2018 tax years here? Thanks!
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Mon, Jan 23rd, 2017 at 2:34 PM
Deductible are the study costs which are paid during the calendar year minus the threshold of € 250 and with a maximum of € 15,000. If you pay more than € 15,000 during the calendar year you will not be able to deduct the part which is above € 15,000. It is not possible to spread the advance payment of the two course years. So an advance payment of € 23,500 is not beneficial for you. Two payments of € 11,750, one paid in 2017 and one paid in 2018 would be better (if the option to deduct education costs is maintained in 2018, there was a discussion about this for 2017 already). It may therefor even be better to pay € 15,250 in 2017 and the remainder in 2018. But that is only possible if the course organization allows payment in two installments.
Comment by jinhua on Fri, Feb 3rd, 2017 at 9:30 PM
Dear Arjan, Appreciate if you could enlighten below: I am a Highly Skill Migrant in Rotterdam, 30 years old this year and i am planning to pick up some courses in the local university to upgrade my career skill which are relevant to my career. kindly advise if there are any subsidy or tuition grant that i could apply for to reduce the course fee. looking forward to you kind advise. Regards
Comment by ANIRBAN PATHAK on Fri, Feb 10th, 2017 at 4:58 PM
Hi Arjan, I worked till September 2014 and did a full time study starting October 2014 and ending September 2015. I started work again from January 2016. There was no income in 2015. The course fee was 24K which was paid in 2014. I made a tax deduction of 15K in 2014. Can I do the balance tax deduction 24K-15K=9K in 2016 tax filing? If 2015 is considered the year of study with no income , then as stated above the tax deduction can be carried forward to the next year of income .. which is 2016 in my case or not? Much appreciate your advise . Thanks & Best Regards,
Comment by Sandra on Mon, Feb 20th, 2017 at 11:40 AM
Hi; I completed an MBA program in Italy 4 years ago(2011-2012). But I paid the student loan 2 months ago (2016) in 1 big installement(15000 Eur). I have been living an working in the Netherlands since 2015. Am I eligible for the tax deduction?
Comment by Sarah on Tue, Feb 21st, 2017 at 1:37 PM
Hello, I followed a Masters study while living and working full-time in the Netherlands. If a payment of (Eur12,000) was made by several installments over a 2-year period, do I need to file a claim for the two years respectively or can I declare the full paid amount in the first year of payment only?
Comment by Celine on Tue, Mar 14th, 2017 at 4:25 PM
Hi Arjan. I studied for my master 2014 Sep -2015 Jul, and paid the tuition of EUR 15,800. Afterwards, I‘ve been working in the Netherlands since Oct 2015. If I forgot to include that tuition fee for tax deduction in 2015 report, can I do it for 2016 income tax? I paid it through my German bank account when I was in the Netherlands. Thanks!
Comment by Cheong on Sat, May 13th, 2017 at 12:11 AM
Hi, is there an age limit for education fee deduction? I read in one article that tax deduction is applicable to those who are aged between 18 - 30. If you are older than 30 years, education fee deduction doesnt come into play, is this true? Thanks!
Comment by Emic on Mon, May 22nd, 2017 at 4:27 PM
I just checked the UvA Tuition Fee Calculator and it said that if I am non-EU but have Type 1 visa with restrictions other then Student visa (I will have a work permit) that I qualify for the stationary fee, which is much lower. Can someone give me some more information on this or experiences?
Comment by Danqi on Mon, Jun 12th, 2017 at 11:34 AM
Hi, tax authority told me tuition fees paid in installments are only deductible if they are paid before 2015-7-1 because a change of the laws has been made on that date, is that true?
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Sat, Jul 8th, 2017 at 10:47 AM
@Anirban Pathak: maximum deduction per year is indeed 15k. If you can not deduct the 15k due to low income then you can forward the not deducted amount to a follwoing year. But that is only applicable to the 15k and not to th 24k you paid. So the difference of 9k was already lost.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Sat, Jul 8th, 2017 at 10:48 AM
@Sandra: education costs are only deductible in the year of payment. Repayment of a study loan is not deductible. So you can‘t deduct anything in your Dutch tax return.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Sat, Jul 8th, 2017 at 10:49 AM
@Sarah: education costs need to be deducted in the year(s) of payment.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Sat, Jul 8th, 2017 at 10:51 AM
@Celine: since education costs must be deducted in the year of payment you will have to adjust your 2015 tax return or write a request to the tax authorities that they adjust the 2015 tax assessment due to deduction of education costs.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Sat, Jul 8th, 2017 at 11:01 AM
@cheong: during the so called standard study period (the period when you spent almost al your time on your study), there is no maximum to the deductible education costs. This is only applicable if your age is between 18 and 30. Once you become 30 the maximum deductible amount is 15k. The maximum is also 15k if you are younger than 30 but don‘t spent most of your time on your study but also have a day time job.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Sat, Jul 8th, 2017 at 11:03 AM
@Danqi: from 1 July 2015 the rules were indeed adjusted. Not with respect to how the study is paid (in installments or one lump sum), but whether you receive some kind of study finance or study aid from the Dutch government or not. If you do receive something then you can‘t deduct education costs anymore.
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