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Switzerland to extend ban on events until March 2021: Reports

According to reports, Switzerland is considering extending a ban on events with more than 1000 people until March 2021.

Switzerland to extend ban on events until March 2021: Reports
A Swiss Super League football match between FC Basel and FC Zurich. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The ban, currently in place until the end of August, is expected to be extended for a further six months – although there are two different forms the ongoing ban can take. 

Switzerland’s Tages Anzeiger reported on Wednesday that the two leading options are to extend the ban in its current form – i.e. no events featuring more than 1,000 people can take place – or in a watered down form which would allow some events with more than 1,000 subject to special approval. 

READ: Where are Switzerland's new hotspots? 

Another option, which would be to allow the ban to expire at the end of August, is unlikely to be considered given continued rising infection rates across the country. 

Sports and cultural associations have warned that any extension of the ban would lead to dire financial consequences. 

Commenting on the ban, Christian Constantin, President of FC Sion, told the Tages Anzeiger “that would be the end of professional sports”. 

Music promoters also criticised the proposed extension, with concerts already having been rescheduled until later in the year. 

The final decision on the ban is expected on August 12th when the government next meets to consider the future of the country’s lockdown rules. 

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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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