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Old 26.01.2021, 09:16
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Private primary school (deduction)

Hi!
Until now I successfully claimed kindergarten / hort / daycare expenses towards the 10'100 deduction limit.
Do you know if the fees of a private primary school are also deductible?

Consider that the fees include three components:

- tuition fees
- afterschool care
- courses and special afterschool activities


Any experience with that?
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Old 26.01.2021, 10:01
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Re: Private primary school (deduction)

There is no case where you can deduct tuition...

But... this will depend a bit on the rules in your tax location. Baselland explains this better than Zürich...

A 'loose' translation... Deductible child care costs are exclusively costs incured by third-party childcare... You may not deduct costs for meals, travel costs to the place of care or other child support. In particular, if a domestic helper performs other tasks in addition to childcare, these other costs are not deductible.

As with Swiss taxes, you are welcome to deduct whatever you like... the tax authorities will correct what they believe is wrong.

In the past, our family has deducted courses that are part of the school vacation programs (all day sports courses and theatur courses or whatever) and they've been accepted (again, this doesn't mean that they'll always be accepted). I know people who've tried to deduct music lessons - and have had those rejected (again, there is no consequence, other than you have your tax form returned with a correction).

By the way, Zürich states...
Deduction for children looked after by others (Fremdbetrueungskosten)
Third-party childcare costs: The deduction amounts to a maximum of CHF 10,100 per child. For each child who has not yet reached the age of 14, the proven costs (maximum CHF 10,100) can be deducted. The child must live in the same household as the taxpayer who provides for his or her maintenance. The costs must be directly related to the taxpayer's employment, education or incapacity for work.
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Old 26.01.2021, 10:27
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Re: Private primary school (deduction)

Our children go to a public school and we are able to claim the after-school care expenses (Hort) as a deduction.

I would be curious to know if Fremdbetreuungskosten includes holiday camps and after school activities, but I doubt it.
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Old 26.01.2021, 10:55
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Re: Private primary school (deduction)

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Our children go to a public school and we are able to claim the after-school care expenses (Hort) as a deduction.

I would be curious to know if Fremdbetreuungskosten includes holiday camps and after school activities, but I doubt it.
As I wrote above... I don't know what is officially included, but...
  • I have deducted holiday camps (actually - both in Switzerland and also in once when we were on vacation and sent the kids to camp in the states). This was for the Zürich city vacation courses. The tax officials left these deductions in and didn't correct them.
  • I know people who have tried to deduct both music lessons and sports team fees (I forgot to mention this above). These deductions were rejected by the tax authorities.
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Old 26.01.2021, 11:02
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Re: Private primary school (deduction)

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As I wrote above... I don't know what is officially included, but...
  • I have deducted holiday camps (actually - both in Switzerland and also in once when we were on vacation and sent the kids to camp in the states). This was for the Zürich city vacation courses. The tax officials left these deductions in and didn't correct them.
  • I know people who have tried to deduct both music lessons and sports team fees (I forgot to mention this above). These deductions were rejected by the tax authorities.
Yes, I saw your comment so you didn't need to repeat them again ;-)

It just sounds contradictory that the tax authority would accept a holiday camp but not music lessons or after school sports activities - a holiday camp can be either, and you can also book either through, for example, Stadt Zürich.

So it sounds very arbitrary, but if the cost is not very high, maybe they just accept it?
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Old 26.01.2021, 11:05
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Re: Private primary school (deduction)

As others have said, 'care' is deductible but not tuition. Usually the school is well versed in this and breaks it down for you, even supplying an attestation for the authorities. The rather long lunch break here is part care/part food expenses, the care is broken down, as well as afterschool care.
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Old 26.01.2021, 12:06
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Re: Private primary school (deduction)

You can always call the tax authorities and ask them directly. I have always had good experience, i.e. they always tried to answer my questions carefully.
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Old 26.01.2021, 13:19
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Re: Private primary school (deduction)

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As I wrote above... I don't know what is officially included, but...
  • I have deducted holiday camps (actually - both in Switzerland and also in once when we were on vacation and sent the kids to camp in the states). This was for the Zürich city vacation courses. The tax officials left these deductions in and didn't correct them.
  • I know people who have tried to deduct both music lessons and sports team fees (I forgot to mention this above). These deductions were rejected by the tax authorities.
Great tip! Will try it this year and see what happens, like you said if they don't like it they will correct it so not much loss!
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Old 26.01.2021, 15:32
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Re: Private primary school (deduction)

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[*]I know people who have tried to deduct both music lessons and sports team fees (I forgot to mention this above). These deductions were rejected by the tax authorities.[/LIST]
Yes, because as far as I know they deduct education fees only when it's supposed to help one in their professional activity etc Better ask tax authorities or the accountant who signs your tax declaration.
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Old 27.01.2021, 10:52
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Re: Private primary school (deduction)

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Yes, because as far as I know they deduct education fees only when it's supposed to help one in their professional activity etc Better ask tax authorities or the accountant who signs your tax declaration.
What you are writing about is the difference between non-deductable Ausbildungskosten (education costs) and deductable Weiterbildungskosten (Something like continuing education or retraining).

You can read more about this in this canton Zürich tax authority document German).

Chapter 3 really does a good job explaining education, continuing education, retraining and workplace reentry costs. You can throw this all into deepl or google translate if you like. It's pretty well explained and pretty interesting. And, in certain cases there is a lot of leeway and it makes sense to proceed carefully with an expert.
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