Touristic Travels vs Study Trips

When a geography teacher travels to China or Paris, France, she will have make sure that the tax office is really persuaded that she was on a research trip. FG Mecklenburg-West Pomerania gave further clarification to this issue with its judgment of May 6, 2010 (re 2 K 215/07).


A teacher for math, geography, biology and art/ceramics traveled to China and Paris, France organized through an educational institute. She further visited the seminar “Dialog of the Cultures II: Morocco – Women’s Life and Work in the Rif Mountains”. She declared these costs as professional expenses in her tax return. After the tax office denied the application, she sought legal recourse.

The tax court agreed with the tax office in full. The trip to China could not be deducted because the court was convinced that it really only was as a tourist and not of professional interest. The travel destinations were widespread and with frequent location changes to places that were considered touristic highlights. The trip was just like any other trip in a travel agency’s catalog. The trip to Paris, France was denied for very similar reasons.

Only the Morocco seminar was accepted by the court because the professional relevance was clearly noticeable.


In the recent filings of the Federal Tax Court, mixed private/professional costs can be partially deducted – in the ratio of private/professional relevance of the costs (judgment of September 21, 2009, re GrS 1/06).

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