Are study costs tax deductible for entrepreneurs?

November 10, 2023

Are study costs tax deductible for entrepreneurs?

Since January 1, 2022, the rules for study costs have changed. For individuals, current study costs are no longer tax deductible. Study costs incurred in 2021 or earlier are still deductible. But what about study costs for entrepreneurs in 2022 and onwards.

Tax deductibility of study costs

For entrepreneurs, study costs are sometimes tax deductible and sometimes not. The general rule applies here: Costs incurred for the business interests of your enterprise are deductible. This means that the costs of a course or training that helps improve your business activities are considered business expenses. This is the case, for example, for a study that helps you maintain existing professional knowledge. Study costs for a future profession or a hobby are not considered business expenses. The study costs that are business-related are deductible from the profit, and the VAT on them is also deductible.

For instance, if you are a chocolatier and you attend a chocolate-making workshop, the costs of the workshop can be deducted from your profit since it helps you make better products and improve your business activities. However, if you attend a course on improving your presentation skills as a chocolatier, these costs are not considered business-related since they do not contribute to improving your business activities as a chocolatier.

Do study hours count towards the hour criterion?

The answer is yes, all hours spent on a study or training program count towards the hour criterion.

What about private study costs and the STAP budget?

Study costs that are not related to your business cannot be included in your company's accounts. These study costs were still tax deductible for personal income tax purposes in 2022, but this is no longer the case. However, there is now a STAP budget available for workers and job seekers until 31 December 2023. The STAP budget is a subsidy scheme for the costs of training courses and education. If you want to know more about the STAP budget, you can find our detailed article here.

To conclude, study costs are only deductible if they are business-related, which means they are only deductible if attending the study or program helps you improve your business activities. The costs of a course or training program that is aimed at acquiring new knowledge are not tax deductible.