Can I claim back in expenses costs of my uni degree?


I've registered a UK limited company which is going to sell online language courses. Can I claim back in expenses costs of my university degree, if the degree is highly correlated with what my company deals with? I study Applied Linguistics (languages).
I have also heard that in the UK it is possible to claim back costs from up to five years ago - is that true?

UK Tax Ltd

asked Feb 9 '12 at 07:23
452 points

2 Answers


In the US, education expenses that would be required for your business (such as a university degree) are not normally deductible.

From IRS Publication 535 :

Education expenses you incur to meet the minimum requirements of your
present trade or business, or those that qualify you for a new trade
or business, are not deductible. This is true even if the education
maintains or improves skills presently required in your business. For
more information on education expenses, see Publication 970.

Of course, the info in IRS Publication 970 (page 37) seems to contradict this:

Generally, you can claim the tuition and fees deduction if all three
of the following requirements are met.
1. You pay qualified education expenses of higher education
2. You pay the education expenses for an eligible student.
3. The eligible student is yourself, your spouse, or your dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.

And lastly, this is in the US, not the UK, so I realize this is no help :) But hopefully this will serve as a stub of research for someone that knows the correct answer.
answered Feb 9 '12 at 08:25
Michael Pryor
2,250 points
  • Plus this only applies to personal taxes and is a pain retroactively because you will need to file an amendment for the back expenses. – Karlson 12 years ago


I am in the UK and my view is as follows:

The degree is giving you an asset of enduring benefit to the business so the costs are capital and disallowable. Where you have to do continual improvement or pay subs each year (in the case of Professional Quals) then they are allowable. You can claim for certain expenses pre-inception but they have to be allowable in the first place.

answered Mar 26 '13 at 07:51
Steve N
73 points
  • Hi Steve, and welcome to the site! Thank you for your contributions so far. When you get a chance, please take a moment to review our FAQ. Please note that [signatures and salutations are not allowed]( in posts, and are normally removed by those with edit priviledges. – Zuly Gonzalez 11 years ago
  • Thanks for the pointer. – Steve N 11 years ago
  • No problem. That's what we're here for. Let us know if you have any questions. – Zuly Gonzalez 11 years ago

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