Current bfh verdict: child benefit in first and second training

The family fund pays child benefit until the child reaches the age of 25. It does not matter at first whether it is the first or second training. This delimitation becomes important when the adult child is employed more than 20 hours a week in addition to training or studying – as the Federal Finance Court (BFH) recently emphasized in its judgment on "multi-act training".

In general, the following applies: With a second education, the family fund only pays child benefit as long as the child does not have “harmful gainful employment” – that is, if he does not work more than 20 hours a week in addition to his education. However, if individual training phases are an integral part of a uniform initial training, it is a so-called multi-act training. This means that initial training is not yet complete and harmful employment is not being examined. In the case of multi-act training, the individual sections must be close to one another in time and have a close factual connection.

BFH judgment: initial training or second training?

In its judgment of December 11th 2018 (Az. III R 26/18) the BFH emphasized that multi-act training is only available if the second act actually focuses on training or studying.

The case: A young woman completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration at a dual university. After successful completion, the training company took over the graduate and employed her full-time. In addition, the young woman studied the master’s degree in business psychology. The lectures took place in the evening and sometimes on Saturdays. Although that Master’s degree BFH rejected child benefit for parents, both technically and in terms of time, after the bachelor’s degree. In this case, the master’s program was no longer considered part of a uniform initial training.

The reason: The former training company permanently employed the daughter full-time, whereby the position required a degree at the level of a bachelor’s degree. The subsequent master’s degree was carried out part-time – the lecture times "considered" the student’s working hours. Overall, her day-to-day work was not shaped by training, but by working in the company. According to the judges, the initial training ended with the completion of the dual bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree counts as second degree. The result: In the meantime, the harmful employment has to be checked. Since the young woman was employed full time, she worked You more than 20 hours a week – and the parents were not entitled to child benefit.

The BFH gave an example in which the child benefit payment would have worked: A student with a bachelor’s degree works as a research assistant for 19 hours per week during the subsequent master’s program. He also gives three tutoring lessons. Although the student works more than 20 hours mathematically, the study is clearly in the foreground. Activities as a research assistant are usually never permanent, but for a limited time. The family would be entitled to child benefit.

Is it all too complicated for you? Don’t worry, the Steuerring consultants will be happy to help you. Now you can find your personal contact person in your area with our advice center search.


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Christina Cherry
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