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Are Dutch lessons tax deductible?
Dutch language course
You may consider that Dutch lessons are deductible as work related expenses. Unfortunately since 2001 work related expenses are no longer deductible. Instead you receive the labour deduction (arbeidskorting) if you work and have an income out of it. This means that Dutch lessons are not deductible as work related expenses.
Another possibility is to consider the Dutch lessons as education costs. Costs made to educate yourself to get a better future/career may be deductible. Many expats tried to claim the Dutch language course under this subject. Unfortunately the Court decided many times that a Dutch language course is too general to be treated as education costs. They decided that the ability to speak and understand Dutch is not needed specifically for a job but needed to function as a ‘normal’ resident in the Netherlands in general. Difficult to explain when the employer says he will only hire you if you speak Dutch. Only solution in that case is to request the employer to pay for the course. It’s tax deductible for the employer but on the other hand taxable as salary for you.
The judge made an exemption however if the Dutch language course is required to follow additional education in the Netherlands like for example at the university. In that case the costs of the language course are deductible.