Solidarity tax on rich Swiss extended due to coronavirus

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Solidarity tax on rich Swiss extended due to coronavirus
Wealthy Swiss will have to pay more under the plan. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Switzerland’s solidarity tax, levied on the wealthiest Swiss, will be extended by at least a year due to a revenue shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


According to Swiss news outlet Watson, the tax has been extended in order to avoid a one billion franc budget shortfall in Switzerland’s unemployment fund. 

Pursuant to the tax, anyone earning more than 126,000 francs per year has to pay a ‘solidarity contribution’ as well as the other mandatory social contributions. 

The tax levied is 0.5 percent of the wage, with employers paying a further 0.5 percent. 

READ: Switzerland's strangest taxes - and what happens if you don't pay them



‘Sad news’

The tax, first implemented in 2011, was to expire in 2021 - however Boris Zürcher, head of the Labor Directorate at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), told SRF on Wednesday that it would be extended indefinitely. 

According to SECO, the tax has erased billions of debt from Switzerland’s unemployment fund. 

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has however forced more and more Swiss to apply for unemployment benefits, meaning that the tax will now be continued. 

Zürcher told the public broadcaster that the extension of the tax was “sad news”. 


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