The Supreme Court extends the maternity deduction for childcare expenses to nurseries

Work-life balance
18 Jan, 2024 — 3 min
The Supreme Court extends the maternity deduction for childcare expenses to nurseries

In a ruling on 8 January, which unifies criteria, the Supreme Court has decided to extend the deduction for maternity in the Personal Income Tax (IRPF) to the costs of childcare. This ruling removes the previous restriction imposed by the State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT) and brings clarity to the right to the maternity tax deduction established in the Personal Income Tax Act.

The ruling, issued in appeal 2779/2022 on 8 January 2024, annuls the AEAT's previous decision limiting the increase of the maternity deduction to an additional 1,000 euros in the IRPF, exclusively for childcare expenses in nurseries authorised as an educational centre. With this decision, the Supreme Court corrects and extends this criterion, now including any nursery duly authorised for the custody of children under three years of age.

Previously, the AEAT denied the deduction for nursery expenses that did not have an authorisation as an educational centre granted by the competent educational administration. This interpretation was applied since the introduction of the IRPF deduction in 2018, based on a reading of the IRPF Regulations that restricted the deduction to centres with this specific authorisation.

The Supreme Court argues that this criterion imposed a requirement not established in the law, unduly limiting working mothers' options to enjoy this deduction. Under the new interpretation, custody expenses will be deductible, within the legal limits, whether to nurseries or child education centres. The SC stresses that the law does not condition the requirements of the centre where mothers decide to hire childcare services, thus rejecting the restriction imposed by the AEAT.

The ruling underlines that, even so, nurseries must have authorisation for the opening and operation of the childcare activity, including assistance, care and feeding. However, nurseries are not legally required to have authorisation as an educational centre for children.

With this ruling, the Supreme Court unifies the criteria of courts and tribunals, correcting the restrictive interpretation of the tax deduction previously applied by the Administration. This decision clarifies the panorama and provides a broader legal basis for working mothers who wish to benefit from this deduction.

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