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HEALTH

Switzerland makes 400 million francs available for coronavirus vaccine

The Swiss government has increased its vaccine fund by CHF100 million, bringing the total funds available for the vaccine to CHF400 million.

Switzerland makes 400 million francs available for coronavirus vaccine
Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The decision was made on Wednesday afternoon. Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset made the announcement, saying the vaccine would be made available to the entire Swiss population. 

The money allocated goes towards the purchase of the vaccine doses and does not include the costs associated with the vaccination process. 

Swiss media site 20 Minutes reports that the vaccine is estimated to cost 40 francs per person. Each person requires two doses, with each needle costing 20 francs. 

According to Stefan Kuster, Head of the Communicable Diseases Section at the Federal Office of Public Health, was unable to put a concrete timeline on when the vaccine would be available, but did tell a media conference on Tuesday that people in risk groups and those around them would be first in line to be vaccinated. 

EXPLAINED: When will Switzerland roll out a Covid-19 vaccine? 

Health workers are also expected to have early access to the vaccine. 

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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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