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HEALTH

Coronavirus cases top 7,000 in Switzerland

Confirmed cases of coronavirus rose above 7,000 on Sunday, with Switzerland having the second-highest rate of infections per capita after Italy.

Coronavirus cases top 7,000 in Switzerland
Ski gondolas used as sidewalk cafe pods are seen in front of a closed restaurant amid the spread of the COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus, in Lausanne on March 21, 2020. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI

There were 901 new confirmed cases announced on Sunday morning, bringing the total to 7,014. 

In total, 60 people have died in Switzerland due to the virus, an increase of four from Saturday. 

UPDATE: What you need to know about the coronavirus crisis in Switzerland 

Per capita

Switzerland now has the second-highest infection rate per capita of any country in the world, after Italy. 

The canton of Ticino has 283.5 cases per 100,000 people, followed by the western canton of Vaud (205.8) and the City of Basel (203.8 per 100,000). 

The virus has been detected in each of Switzerland’s 26 cantons. On Saturday, the virus claimed its first victims in the cantons of Lucerne and Appenzell Ausserrhoden. 

 

 

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TAXES

Masks, tests and jabs: Can I deduct Covid-related costs from my taxes in Switzerland?

Switzerland’s tax deadline is just around the corner. Are Covid-related costs tax deductible?

Masks, tests and jabs: Can I deduct Covid-related costs from my taxes in Switzerland?

March 31st is the deadline for filing taxes in Switzerland relating to the 2021 financial year. 

Over the past two years, the Covid pandemic has seen a change in our spending habits. 

While we may have saved on restaurants and travel, we laid out considerable costs on a range of new expenses, including disinfectant, masks and Covid tests. 

As some of these costs are required by law, can they be deducted from your tax?

In some cases, expenses directly related to the Covid pandemic can be deducted. 

Masks, for instance, can be deducted as medical expenses in some cantons, Swiss tax specialist Markus Stoll told 20 Minutes

This depends on the specific framework for tax deductions related to medical expenses in that canton. 

EXPLAINED: What can I deduct from my tax bill in Switzerland?

Generally speaking, any medical costs paid out of pocket can be deducted. However, most cantons impose a minimum percentage limit from which these costs can be deducted. 

In many cantons, this will start at five percent of your yearly income in total (i.e. including other out-of-pocket costs like dental or specialist visits), meaning you would need to purchase a significant amount of masks to beat the threshold. 

What about testing and vaccination?

Testing and vaccinations however were largely free as their costs were covered by the Swiss government, which means associated expenses cannot be deducted. 

Those tests which were not covered by the government – for instance for travel abroad or for visiting clubs – cannot be deducted, Stoll says. 

“Tests for travel abroad or to visit clubs are not deductible” Stoll said. 

For a complete overview of taxation in Switzerland, including several specific guides, please check out our tax-specific page here. 

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