Child benefit is also available in the internship

Tax tip Child benefit is also available in the internship

If an internship is used to prepare for a career goal, adult children are still entitled to child benefit.

Düsseldorf internships are now offered in all areas of training: from the first orientation weeks during school to compulsory internships during studies to final theses in the company, numerous variants are conceivable. Some internships are mandatory – for example, as a necessary technical requirement or as a supplement to the actual training. Others are recommended in training and study regulations.

Since many internships are paid only marginally, it is interesting for families whether the adult child is still entitled to child benefit. If an internship is neither prescribed nor recommended, the family fund is based on the nature of the training. So there must be a relation to the professional goal. A case that the Finanzgericht Düsseldorf now had to assess shows that this is not always easy to prove.

If you have any questions about child benefit, taxpayers usually have to contact the family offices of the Federal Employment Agency. It is responsible for processing and payment.

In 2015, parents received EUR 188 per month for the first and second child. For the third child there was 194 euros, for all subsequent children 219 euros. In January 2016, child benefit was increased by two euros each.

The allowances are divided into a child allowance and a child care allowance. In 2015, they amounted to 2,256 and 1,320 euros – for a total of 3,576 euros – and doubled for jointly assessed spouses and for a widowed spouse. Separate parents receive the allowances once each. The allowances can, however, be transferred to one parent, provided that the other “essentially” does not fulfill his maintenance obligation. For 2016, the amounts totaled 3,624 euros.

A 22-year-old had unsuccessfully applied to a technical college for the entrance exam in the book art / graphic design course. He decided to try other universities while doing two internships in a tattoo studio. These lasted around a year in total. He liked the work there and decided to prepare to become a tattoo artist. The family fund did not consider the internship to be vocational training and reclaimed the child benefit paid.

In contrast, the mother of the 22-year-old went to court – and was right. The Finanzgericht Düsseldorf (Az .: 10 K 1416/16 AO) saw the requirements for an apprenticeship fulfilled. For this, the internship does not have to be based on a detailed training plan: "Rather, all measures are used to prepare for a career goal, which involves the acquisition of knowledge, skills and experience that are suitable as the basis for the pursuit of the desired profession," argued the judge.

Tax tip of the week

According to the internship certificate, the internship covered customer advice and support, scheduling, material planning and purchasing, building and dismantling workplaces, safe handling of contaminated material, research and artistic work.


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Christina Cherry
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