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How are childcare costs to be taken into account for tax purposes?

Under certain conditions, you can deduct childcare costs up to a maximum amount as special expenses against tax.


  • The child lives in your home or is temporarily accommodated away from home with your consent, e.g. in a boarding school. If the parents do not live together, it basically depends on whether the child is registered with you or with the other parent.
  • It is not older than 13 years or, if it cannot support itself due to a previously incurred physical, mental or psychological disability, not older than 24 years.
  • The child is looked after
    • by a childminder, a weekly mother or a full-time carer, a nursery nurse or a nursery school teacher,
    • from a nursery school, day-care centre, crèche or children's home,
    • by a home help employed by you, or
    • for the completion of homework.
  • You incur expenses due to
    • Benefits in kind, especially for the accommodation and meals of the caregiver in the household, or
    • payment. This also applies to reimbursements to the caregiver, e.g. their travel expenses, if the services are listed in the invoice or contract.


2/3 of the expenses , maximum 4,000 euros per child per year.


The expenses to be recognized reduce your income in your income tax assessment.

If requirements are only met for part of the calendar year, only 2/3 of the expenses incurred in that part of the calendar year are eligible, up to a maximum of 4,000 euros.


The child turns 14 in July of the calendar year. In this case, the responsible office will only recognize the costs incurred from January to July.

If you as parents do not share a household, the maximum amount is due to the parent to whose household the child belongs. The other parent is not entitled to childcare allowance because the child does not belong to his or her household.

If the child belongs to the household of both parents, the maximum amount is divided in half, i.e. each parent is entitled to a maximum amount of 2,000 euros, unless they agree to apply for a different division of the maximum amount.


You cannot claim expenses for

  • Tuition such as school fees, private tuition or foreign language lessons,
  • the teaching of special skills such as computer courses or music lessons,
  • sports and other recreational activities such as membership in sports clubs, tennis or riding lessons,
  • the child's meals or travel expenses.

You can also claim school fees for tax purposes under other conditions within the framework of a separate maximum amount.

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