The most important things first:
Yes, the costs of a first or second training course can be taken into account for tax purposes. The costs of initial training as special expenses (tax impact only in the year in which the costs were incurred), the costs of second training as income-related expenses (tax impact also for future years if the income-related expenses are higher than income in the year in which they are incurred – ; determination of loss with later offsetting).
This distinction is based on the decisions of the Federal Fiscal Court, among others Resolution (Federal Constitutional Court draft) of July 17, 2014, VI R 2/12, Resolution (Federal Constitutional Court draft) of July 17, 2014, VI R 8/12 such as Resolution (Federal Constitutional Court draft) of July 17, 2014, VI R 38/12 confirmed by the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court Resolution of November 19, 2019
2 BvL 22/14, 2 BvL 27/14, 2 BvL 26/14, 2 BvL 25/14, 2nd BvL 24/14, 2 BvL 23/14. According to this, a distinction must be made as to whether it is a first or second training course. When this is the case has been regulated since 2015 § 9 VI EKStG. According to this, the initial training ends when it has lasted at least 12 months and has been completed with a degree. According to this, a second training cannot be assumed if
- the (first) course is resumed after an interruption of more than 12 months or
- the (first) degree is given up after more than 12 months and another degree is started.
However, it is not detrimental if the training takes place in a company (therefore a salary is paid at the same time), such as in the case of a dual study program.