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HEALTH

Geneva auto show 2021 cancelled over coronavirus crisis

Geneva's auto show was cancelled this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, and organisers said Monday they were also scrapping the 2021 edition as the auto sector reels from the crisis.

Geneva auto show 2021 cancelled over coronavirus crisis
Photo: RICHARD JUILLIART / AFP

The executive committee of the foundation that runs the Geneva International Motor Show, a major event on the auto industry calendar, said that after polling exhibitors, it had “given up the idea to organise a 2021 edition.

“A majority of exhibitors have said they probably will not participate in a 2021 edition and that they would prefer taking part in a 2022 edition,” a statement said.

The GIMS Foundation noted the auto sector was “currently facing a major crisis, and the exhibitors need time to be able to invest in the show.”

It also pointed out that it was unclear whether the health and safety situation next March would allow for the organisation of an event that usually draws more than 600,000 visitors and 10,000 journalists.

'Bling bling': 2019 Geneva Motor Show opens to public 

This year's edition was cancelled after Switzerland banned large gatherings before introducing stricter lockdown measures to fight the novel coronavirus.

The wealthy Alpine nation has, like other European countries, lifted many of those measures, but still has restrictions on large gatherings.

The foundation said that back in March, it had asked the canton of Geneva to provide financial support to help cover 11 million Swiss francs ($11.6 million, 10.3 million euros) it lost when the 2020 edition was cancelled at the last minute, and to help prepare for next year's show.

The GIMS is the largest public event organised in Switzerland, and usually fills the Geneva region's coffers with around 200 million francs each year, the foundation pointed out.

At the beginning of June, it said, the Geneva cantonal government approved a loan of 16.8 million francs, but it had been forced to turn down the money due to the reimbursement conditions, and a stipulation that it host an event in 2021.

Instead, it said that it was exploring selling GIMS to the Palexpo exhibition space where the show normally is held.

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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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