Can I deduct my education costs?

Study in the Netherlands

If you have decided to follow a course or to go to University, for example to get your MBA these costs can be deductible if the purpose is to get a better job or to make a career step within the current company.

The following education costs can be deductible

  • enrolment fee
  • application fee
  • costs of exams
  • books and other literature
  • materials (PC not deductibele anymore since 2014)

The following costs are never deductible

  • your own life support, like housing, food and clothes
  • travel costs and costs of staying somewhere else
  • costs for a room where you can study including furniture
  • computer, tablet, telephone

Minimum and maximum amount

Education costs can only be deductible if they are more than € 250. The first € 250 are not deductible. 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.

If the employer pays or reimburses part of the fees the deduction is reduced with the reimbursement from the employer.

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.

For the deduction it is relevant when the costs were paid. Year of payment determines in which year’s tax return the deduction can be claimed.

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. Costs of a driving license are also not deductible.


  1. Nice article. Do you know if this rule changes after the introduction of STAP Budget in 2022?

    1. After introduction of the STAP budget education costs are no longer deductible. So only education costs paid before 1 January 2022 can be deducted in the tax return. After 1 January 2022 a tax free allowance will have to be requested under the STAP budget.

  2. If i study in HBO and i did a dutch course in he meantime, does a deduction apply in my case? how can I apply for it?

    1. Since 2022 education costs are unfortunately no longer deductible at all.

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