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.
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.