Students and graduates

belastingaangifte studiekosten

Although students often do not pay much tax and therefore will not be able to save much tax, it is worthwhile to structure your situation already now in view of saving tax in future. And if you have finished your study and started working it is certainly worthwhile to check if your tuition fees are tax deductible. Contact us to find out if we can claim tax back for you.

Requirements for tuition fee deduction

In principle your tuition fees of studying in The Netherlands are still tax deductible from your income. The plan to abolish this tax deduction facility is postponed till 2021. There are some requirements though for the tax deductibility of study costs. The main conditions are:

  • You are not entitled to student grants;
  • You therefore do not have a DUO loan, grant or public transport subscription;
  • The study or training is for your (future) profession and is a learning path (you gain knowledge under supervision or supervision). An integration course does not meet the conditions.

You may only deduct the necessary costs. Think of tuition, course or examination fees, educational resources that you must have for the course, such as books or certain software. Not deductible are: costs of a laptop, tablet or printer, travel expenses, interest on a student loan, the design of your study room.

Do you have a tax partner? Then you may also deduct his or her study costs. Do you have 1 or more studying children? You may not deduct these study costs.

Tuition fees deductable when you start working

As a student your income will generally be low, if any, and consequently the deduction will have no effect. However when you take up employment after your study the tax loss that has accrued can often be compensated and lead to refunds. It is important that the costs of your study are paid by yourself and actually in the period that you were resident in The Netherlands. Please remember to take advice before you take any action as timing and detail are important; although you might for example not earn any income, you will have to file the annual income tax return to secure the tax deduction.

PhD students or graduates

PhD students or graduates qualify for the advantageous 30% ruling after graduating under certain conditions. To qualify for the 30% ruling you need to have come from abroad before the start of your study. Our specialized tax advisors are able to advise you how to combine the advantages of the 30% ruling with the study costs deduction. Please contact us as early as possible, preferably before you accept any job offer to ensure no opportunities are missed.

The averaging ruling often provides another tax saving opportunity for those starting to earn an income. With this ruling the income over three years can be averaged, thus avoiding the higher tax rates.

Contact us to find out if you are entitled to a tuition fee tax refund.