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Zweitausbildung / Steuer abzetzen from freelance income

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Hi everyone,

I have a(another) dilemma. I am employed part-time (a job I would like to eventually leave) and I am also registered as self-employed as a writer/translator and photographer, for this second activity I have a very small income (well, even for the first one... :D

 

I would like to apply to obtain an MA in a discipline I am very interested in, and I have read it is possible to deduct the costs of further studies from the freelance income. My doubts regard the entity of these deductions, I have researched online but, due to my limited German, I am not 100% confident I understood what I read.

 

1) Is it possible to deduct said costs even if the "Weiterbildung" is in another country, or does the institution have to be in Germany?

Is there a limit to the taxes I can deduct? And can I deduct the costs of tuition as well as books, materials and even the cost of travelling to the institution's country to attend my exams?

 

2) Am I still allowed to deduct these costs if the studies already (to a point) are already linked to my freelance activity, but I believe I would benefit from them as they would give me a greater insight in the subject?

 

3) What happens if I end up finding a job that has nothing or little to do with these studies? Will the Finanzamt claim this money back? I am asking this because the areas of the studies I want to undertake is not a very lucrative area, I am just very interested and passionate about the subject...

 

4) One last question: I am married and my husband has a higher income than me. When we do our combined tax declaration later this year (it is the first time for us) will we apply for a deduction of these University costs from our overall income, or do we need to keep our declarations separate?

 

Many thanks for your help! Have a good day!

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