Any taxpayer with net income from a salaried occupation may deduct the cost of professional development as business expenses (frais d'obtention) from his/her taxable income from the salaried occupation.
The professional development costs must:
- have a direct link to the professional activity performed by the employee,
- be paid for by the employee,
- enable the employee to update his/her professional knowledge and facilitate promotion in his/her current professional activity (Fortbildungskosten).
Professional training costs (Ausbildungskosten), which cover expenses incurred in order to gain the knowledge required for a future profession or a change of profession, are non-deductible.
Eligible expenses include:
- registration fees for continuing training borne by the employee,
- the costs of buying books, as long as they are purchased on a wholly professional basis (specialist books that are not of general interest).
The location in which the training is held is not taken into consideration.
The employee must deduct the professional development expenses from the tax return relating to the tax year during which the expenses were incurred.
Example: If in October 2020 someone pays all of the registration costs for a training course that lasts for two years, he/she can only claim these expenses on his/her tax return for the 2020 financial year.
Professional development expenses are classed as business expenses (frais d'obtention) and can be declared in the corresponding section of the tax return.
Each employee automatically benefits from a minimum lump sum of €540 for each tax year, in order to cover business expenses.
If jointly taxpaying spouses both receive income from salaried employment, each will receive the minimum sum of €540. Should all of the actual business expenses exceed the lump sum minimum, the employee may deduct them on request.
It is recommended that the employee briefly explains to the tax office how the training can help him/her to progress in his/her professional career and to provide the tax office with supporting documents proving payment of the registration fees and participation in the continuing training.