Tax tips for students: Claim taxes and save money

Written by Martin Högerl, Jul 28, 2022

The world of finance can sometimes be a little bit complicated and confusing. However, today we will guide you through this jungle by providing tax tips for students. There are oftentimes tax benefits, tax allowances or tax returns for students that you can easily and quickly apply for. We show you how that works and what you need to keep in mind!

What can students write off against taxes?

In principle, occupational expenses are especially interesting to students because this way you can write many expenses for university off against taxes, as long as you earn more than €12,000 per year. Occupational expenses are:

  • Tuition fees
  • Text books, specialist literature and lecture notes
  • Computer, laptop and accessories
  • Travel and commuting costs

The requirements for occupational expenses are that they are essential to your education. You can only write off against taxes whatever you buy for university. For example, you cannot write off your personal laptop.

Learn more about how you can write these expenses off against taxes in our first tip!

The 8 most important tax tips for students

Taxes, allowances and tax deductibles might sound confusing for some people, that’s why we have gathered 8 tips for you!

1. Arbeitnehmer:innenveranlagung (employee assessment)

You can get tax allowances by handing in your employee assessment via the online platform FinanzOnline or at the responsible tax office.

For students the most interesting part of the tax assessment is the above-mentioned occupational expenses. They include all expenses that are essential for your education (educational costs). You can write them off against taxes, as long as you earn more than €12,000 per year. You can enter the expenses into the category “L1 – Werbungskosten” of the form.

You should collect all the receipts of educational costs, including laptops, books, tickets, lecture notes, etc. Only then can you write them off against taxes. You need to keep the bills for seven years because the tax office might demand proof within this period.

Tip: You have five years to hand in your employee assessment. Therefore, it is worth to complete the employee assessment for the last years too, if you haven’t done it yet.

2. Social security repayment / tax credit

If you earn less than €21,500 per year and pay social security contributions, then you are entitled to a partial repayment. This SV-repayment, also called tax credit, amounts to 50% of the paid contributions. You can apply for the tax credit via the employee assessment.

Tip: Obligatory and voluntary interns are usually entitled to the tax credit. So, if you are doing an internship, you should definitely hand in your employee assessment.

3. Tax allowance: Residence – Study location

If your place of study is further than 80km away from your parents‘ home address or the quickest itinerary via public transport is more than one hour, then your parents can apply for a monthly tax allowance of €110. However, only if there is no equal educational facility at your residence. Your parents can apply for the allowance via the employee assessment.

Tip: To calculate the distance or duration, you can use the commuting calculator tool of the Ministry of Finances.

4. Health insurance

As a student you can benefit from your parents‘ health insurance. This way you don’t have to pay for your own insurance and profit from their health insurance.

Tip: You can choose whether you profit from your father’s or mother’s health insurance. So, compare both of them because some health insurance providers cover more costs than others.

5. Retirement insurance

If you have marginal employment while studying, then you can choose voluntary insurance because in most cases you are only insured for accidents. For your health insurance you can choose your parents‘ or your own insurance. Furthermore, you can pick a voluntary retirement insurance.

Tip: If you have marginal employment, you can write the social security contributions off against the taxes (tax credit) and get 50% of the contributions back.

6. Family allowance

Your parents can continue to receive family allowance as long as you are an ordinary student under 24. If you work in addition to your studies, you should pay attention to the additional income limit, which is €15,000 per year. Furthermore, you must send your proof of matriculation to the tax office. Here is all the information as well as requirements for family allowance!

Tip: When you turn 18 years old, you can demand that the family allowance is directly transferred to your bank account.

7. Marginal employments

If you have more than one marginal employment, you surpass the marginal earning limit. In this case, you will be billed with health insurance contributions afterwards, even though you have not benefited from it during the year. Therefore, you should make all of your employments known during the year at the competent authority (depending on your residence). If you are still looking for a mini job, we present to you the best jobs for students!

Tip: If you have more than one marginal employment and pay social security contributions afterwards, then you can get half of them back via the employee assessment.

8. Tax consultancy at ÖH (Austrian student representation body)

Employment, additional income limit, tax credit and the like are all Greek to you? Then get some help! If a professional tax consultant is too expensive for you, then you can also get a tax consultancy at ÖH. There you will get information on employee assessment, tax obligations, deductibles and application process!

Tip: The website of the Arbeiterkammer has helpful information on financial conditions and situations of students.

These tax tips are a blessing for your budget. Thanks to the easy online procedure, the application is very simple.

If you want to save more money, then we have more tips for students, traveling and cooking! So, you’ll have more money left by the end of the month!


We are happy to help!