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HEALTH

Coronavirus: Hope as Switzerland records lowest number of new infections since mid-March

The number of new confirmed coronavirus infections in Switzerland rose by 400, the lowest daily increase since March 17th. Despite this, fatality rates continued to rise in Switzerland.

Coronavirus: Hope as Switzerland records lowest number of new infections since mid-March

There are now 25,300 confirmed infections of coronavirus in Switzerland, as 400 new infections were confirmed at midday on Sunday. 

The rise is the lowest daily increase since 309 new cases were detected on March 17th, giving rise to hope that the country’s social distancing measures are having a positive effect. 

The news was not all good however, with 64 new deaths seeing the fatality toll rise to 1,074. 

The tally is the second-highest daily total since the virus broke out in Switzerland. 

Switzerland has been one of the hardest-hit countries per capita. 

Vaud, Geneva and Ticino hardest hit by the virus

The canton of Ticino, which borders hard-hit northern Italy, has been heavily impacted by the outbreak, counting more than 2,800 cases. 

The number of deaths in the canton crossed 200 on Wednesday, with the tally now at 244.  

This means that Ticino has just under one quarter of the country's total death toll, despite having just four percent of the population. 

The western cantons of Vaud and Geneva have the most infections of any Swiss canton, with 4,500 and 4,300 respectively – approximately a third of the country's total cases.

In total, 224 people have died in Vaud – an increase of 20 since Saturday – and 144 in Geneva due to the virus.

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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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