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HEALTH

International train connections between Switzerland and Italy to start again this week

From Sunday, June 29th, long-distance international trains will again run between Switzerland and Italy.

International train connections between Switzerland and Italy to start again this week
A train of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) moves along tracks in Geneva. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The services, suspended since March due to the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown, will resume from June 29th in a joint effort between the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and Trenitalia. 

READ: International night train services from Switzerland to resume this week 

The resuming train services will run in both directions from Italy to Switzerland. 

To start with the services will run at 50 percent of usual capacity, with five lines to be reopened including the connections between Zurich and Milan and Basel and Milan. 

Services are expected to run at 50 percent capacity until being expanded in mid-August and later to full capacity in mid-September. 

The popular direct connection between Switzerland and Venice will start again in September. 

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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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