Child benefit and tax allowances

The state relieves parents through child benefit and tax allowances as long as they are obliged to pay maintenance to their children. Information on child benefits may also be directly relevant for students.

Child benefit

After the birth of a child, the parents usually apply for child benefit at the responsible family benefits office. It is then automatically paid to the parents until the child reaches the age of majority.

After that, child benefits are still paid until the child reaches the age of 24, if the "child" is still going to school, studying or doing a recognized voluntary service. This must be independently proven to the family benefits office.

Please note: Students who have already completed their studies or vocational training may work a maximum of 20 hours a week on a regular basis or have a mini-job without jeopardizing their entitlement to child benefits.

A master's degree program is part of a uniform initial education if it is coordinated with the preceding bachelor's degree program in terms of time and content. Students who complete such a master's program can work more than 20 hours a week without jeopardizing their entitlement to child benefits. This was the decision of the Federal Fiscal Court on Sept. 3, 2015 (AZ.: VI R 9/15).

The family benefits office checks whether the entitlement to child benefits continues during a semester of leave.

Note: Students can apply for child benefit for themselves at the family benefits office if their parents

  1. do not file an application or
  2. do not pay child support, although they are obliged to do so.

Tax allowances

The so-called family benefit equalization (according to § 31 Income Tax Act) states that the parents' income is exempted from tax in the amount of the subsistence minimum of a child. This reduces the financial burdens that parents incur as a result of their maintenance obligation. Until the student reaches the age of 25, the tax office automatically checks which of the following two options is more favorable when assessing the parents' income tax:

  1. Child benefit + tax-free education allowance or
  2. tax allowance for children + tax allowance for care and education or education + tax allowance for education.