Are private school costs tax deductible?

I’m moving my kid from Kita to private kindergarten next year. The cost is slightly higher, but I wonder whether I also screwed myself for taxes in that the school costs are not tax deductible (whereas the Tagi costs are)?

Should be deductable no problem. Everything counts as long as the goal of the child care is to allow parents to work.

I would check with an expensive private school, though.

In my canton (Geneva) cost of private school is not deductible for cantonal or federal tax

Cost of childcare is deductible (crèche, maman du jour, child minder, after school care).

So I think it maybe depends whether this is schooling or childcare. If your kid will be of compulsory school age my guess would be “no” unless it is for after school care etc.

Ask the school directly? they should know

It is a school. Although child is not of compulsory school age - part of the reason to switch is to get the child into school earlier.

It could still be deductible, ask the school

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I’d be surprised if the costs were deductible – in Zurich, they’re not.*

I would directly check with your cantonal tax authorities.

* Ausbildungskosten (“primary education costs”) are not deductible. Weiterbildungskosten (“further education costs”) are deductible.

Depending on your education path, your primary education lasts until you get a Lehrabschluss, a university degree, and everything in between. Further education is typically after you’ve worked after getting your first degree (again, anything between Lehrabschluss and your doctorate) and now you want to do something else or additional and you need Weiterbildung for that.
(I think the way further education is used in English doesn’t translate directly to Weiterbildung in German)

I could see a path to deductiblity by arguing it is a form of child care.

die nachgewiesenen und selbst getragenen Kosten, jedoch höchstens CHF 10’000.– pro Jahr, für die Drittbetreuung jedes Kindes, welches das 14. Altersjahr noch nicht vollendet hat und mit der steuerpflichtigen Person, die für seinen Unterhalt sorgt, im gleichen Haushalt lebt, soweit diese Kosten in direktem kausalem Zusammenhang mit der Erwerbstätigkeit, Ausbildung oder Erwerbsunfähigkeit der steuerpflichtigen Person stehen;

If they accept this line of reasoning, the counter-argument would be the relative value of embedded childcare element vs the teaching element (assuming teaching is non-deductible).

Have you asked the school how they invoice the fees or what’s their experience?

Public Kindergarten is free, so there’s nothing to deduct, whereas child care like Hort outside the mandatory hours is paid and deductible. On federal level it’s 25k per kid now, and several Cantons adapted this.
Common sense would be that at least part of it can be deducted if it’s a full day programm.

May I ask, besides being more flexible on the entry age what is offered compared to the public options?
Are the mandatory hours somewhat subsidized for you or the school, given that it’s saving cost or spaces in the public system?

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Child is below the age of mandatory KG by a few days and the local authorities were inflexible in allowing her to go early, so we went with the private option.

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My kid went to a private KG and the school invoiced everything as childcare given that they were running a kita in parallel. I never had any question asked by the tax authority.


Why to start school earlier than necessary?

She’s under-stimulated at day care and also she really wants to start KG! At the day care they don’t do any ‘teaching’ as such and my kid now asks every day to teach her letters and how to read, so another year of day care would not be good for her.


I could see a similar issue coming up for our kid. Would you know if after (one year?) of KG they could enroll back into the public system again?

We plan to enroll back into the public system after the 1 year is up. They will assess whether she can go directly into KG2 or will have to repeat KG1 again.

The local private school here is providing pre-school classes (all day care) at about 30% lower price than the state subsidzsed crèche