For both companies and individuals, the costs for coaching and career coaching are deductible under certain conditions. As far as the tax administration is concerned, this needs to involve ‘one-on-one counselling regarding job application activities, career advice, psychological tests, supporting workshops’. As an individual, when you pay for the costs of life coaching/career coaching yourself, you can deduct these costs, including VAT, as study costs on your income tax returns. This applies as long as the aim of said coaching is to change your position, or keep up-to-date or increase your knowledge, with the purpose of obtaining an income. It is also important that the study or training takes place in the context of a learning trajectory. This term comes into play when the knowledge acquisition takes place under career supervision or guidance from a third party.
Nearly all costs for career counselling are deductible, apart from travel expenses. There is a threshold at € 250. The costs are only deductible if they really have been paid in the year for which the tax return is being filled in. It is therefore important to pay the invoices in one tax year, otherwise the € 250 threshold will be taken into account twice.
A company often has a budget set aside for training costs and personal development of employees. Discuss with your manager to what extent your organisation considers coaching sessions to fall under this category as well. The chances are high that the company will pay the costs completely. You can also have a chat with the company’s Arbodienst or Occupational Health Service. In the framework of the Gatekeeper Improvement Act (the Wet Verbetering Poortwachter), a company will often be happy to work together with you, following discussion with the company doctor. This is certainly the case when issues such as burn-out prevention, long term absence through sickness or reintegration are at hand.
Tax deductions for employers, career advice for self-employed/freelancers
For employers, career coaching falls under specific exemptions. The amount is deductible as a business expense. For entrepreneurs and freelancers, the costs may be included as entrepreneur costs.
For more information, please visit the site of the Dutch Tax Administration.
NB: No rights can be derived from this free information regarding tax regulations. Always consult your tax advisor.