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HEALTH

Ticino extends coronavirus lockdown until September

The southern Swiss canton of Ticino has extended its lockdown until the 7th of September.

Ticino extends coronavirus lockdown until September

The lockdown restrictions, initially imposed in July, have again been extended in order to counteract the renewed threat of coronavirus. 

The Ticino government council announced on Wednesday that the measures were working and warranted extension, with new infection rates rising across Switzerland. 

All hospitality employees who come into contact with customers have been required to wear masks in Ticino since mid-July. 

READ: What's the difference between Switzerland's two lists of high-risk Covid-19 countries? 

All restaurant guests are required to leave their contact details, while the capacities of bars and restaurants are capped at 100 people. 

Public meetings cannot exceed 30 people. 

Anyone experiencing symptoms is required to call 0800 144 144 ahead of attempting to see a doctor. 

Ticino has been one of the hardest hit cantons by the virus on a per capita basis, particularly in the early stages of the pandemic. 

Almost 3,500 people have been infected with the virus, along with a death toll of 350. 

 

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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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