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HEALTH

Demand for Switzerland’s ‘Bread Post’ service quadruples due to coronavirus crisis

Launched just over a year ago, demand for Switzerland’s ‘Bread Post’ - which delivers fresh bread to customers daily by mail - has increased four fold due to the coronavirus.

Demand for Switzerland’s ‘Bread Post’ service quadruples due to coronavirus crisis
Photo by Bruno Thethe on Unsplash

It’s not an April Fools’ Day prank – and it might just be the most Swiss thing ever. 

Switzerland’s Bread Post (Brot Post) has been up and running for more than a year. It lets customers order bread for delivery up to five times per week, with the fresh bread delivered daily via the post. 

Unsurprisingly, it’s seen a surge in popularity since the outbreak of the virus as Switzerland put in place restrictions on certain businesses and on leaving the house. 

As reported in the Luzerner Zeitung, use of the service has quadrupled since the beginning of March. 

The goal of the service, other than providing customers with fresh bread conveniently directly to their door, is to help out smaller, independent bakeries rather than large chains – something which has become even more important during the coronavirus crisis. 

The service, run by Swiss Post, links dozens of local bakeries with local customers. Bread-hungry residents can see if deliveries are available to their zip code at the following site

The service is currently only available in German-speaking Switzerland, although Swiss Post plans to expand to western parts of the country in April. Expansion in Ticino is set to take place at a later date. 

 

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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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