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HEALTH

Swiss luxury fragrance maker to make hand sanitiser in coronavirus fight

Swiss fragrance producer Givaudan said Thursday it would produce 60 tonnes of hand sanitiser over the next two weeks to meet chronic shortages of the product needed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Swiss luxury fragrance maker to make hand sanitiser in coronavirus fight
Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

The world's biggest fragrance and flavouring company said it had set up a dedicated production line at its factory in Geneva for hand sanitiser, which would be donated to local hospitals, transportation workers and others in need.

The company, which supplies prestige names in perfumes including Christian Dior and Prada, said in a statement that its Geneva factory would produce the equivalent of around 700,000 bottles of hand sanitiser by mid-April.

Further production lines were being created at its factories in the US and other European countries to help meet a growing demand, it said.

Givaudan has thus joined the ranks of a range of breweries and other companies who have transformed part of their production lines to help meet spiking global demand for hand sanitiser, seen as an essential tool in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic which has infected nearly one million people worldwide.

“In a short space of time, we've managed to establish dedicated production lines of hand sanitiser to produce up to eight tonnes a day, helping to keep our employees protected, but also allowing us to supply to those on the front line, including local hospitals,” company chief Gilles Andrier said.

Givaudan said that its production sites in other countries would also provide hand sanitiser locally.

Its French sites in Pomacle and Avignon had provided over nearly 1.5 tonnes of hand sanitiser to local hospitals and others, while its Ashford site in Britain had partnered with a local brewery in providing hand sanitiser to nearby hospitals.

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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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