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Language study abroad? Tax deductable!

A language trip belongs to the most efficient learning forms. In the past students often found it difficult to claim the costs of a language trip abroad on their tax return. The Office of Customs and Revenue was very strict in controlling whether the trip was perhaps of a private nature rather than educational and often denied the tax claim.

New Regulations for course fees and travel costs

Wonders are not to be expected – even in the future. But: with the new ruling(BFH-Urteil issued 24.02.2011, VIR 12/10) the Federal Court of Financefurther elaborated on the current legislation. The Office of Customs and Revenue is now required to recognise the professional advantage of a language course abroad if this is indeed the case. The course fees can be reimbursed in full as professional expenses. In order to prove this you only need to demonstrate that acquiring basic knowledge or general skills in a foreign language is required or advantageous for your specific job profile.

There have also been changes when it comes to travel expenses. Those costs cannot be deducted from your taxable income in their entirety as there is always a certain private aspect to language trips. In the past there used to be strict separation between professional and private time during a language trip. According to a new ruling other ways of splitting up those proportions are permissible under certain circumstances.

All in all: Language trips are enjoying more and more protection under German tax law. Take advantage of this! Do you have any questions? We will be happy to advise you.