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Internship without Vocational Goal and Child Benefits

Are you still eligible for child benefits for your adult child when he or she participates in an internship that has no vocational goal (i.e. your child wanted to earn something on the side and declare this as an internship)? The FG Münster decided exactly that question on June 1, 2011 (re 11 K 4118/09 Kg).


The 25-year-old daughter of the plaintiff finished her education as a state accredited graphic designer. In the application for a new grant of child benefits, the plaintiff informed the office that her daughter participated in an unpaid internship for one year at a studio for communication and advertising. The office denied eligibility for child benefits because an internship only qualified for a half year as “education” and the plaintiff did not show a certain vocational goal.

Pursuant to current case law of the Federal Tax Court, §32 IV no. 2a EStG requires “training for a profession”. It is irrelevant how it is called: “internship”, “traineeship”, “training”, etc. Alone the character of the measure is the decisive factor. Since the plaintiff did not show the vocational relevance, the case was to be dismissed. An internship lasting more than six months will only then be considered, when the normal requirements are met.


Since you never know how one deciding a case will decide, it would be a good idea to save proof of what will be taught as what should be learned. This can be a brochure or a screenshot from the school’s homepage.