The tax return is due in most cantons by the end of March. What is important when filling it out? And how do you save money? The most important questions and answers.

Now it's that time again: You have to submit the 2021 tax return to your municipality.

May I Deduct masks and corona tests from taxes?

Despite Corona, there are hardly any innovations this time. But you should still pay attention to a few things.

May I deduct masks and corona tests from taxes?

You can deduct part of the costs for working from home in your tax return.

That's what it's all about

  • The costs for working from home can generally be deducted from taxes.

  • The additional costs for external meals are also deductible.

  • Crypto currencies in private assets must be declared in the list of securities.

The tax return is there – but many are unsure about filling it out. Can you deduct the costs for masks and corona tests? Tax specialist Markus Stoll from VZ Vermögenszentrum says what to look out for.

The home office has become established – what does that mean for taxes?

The costs for the home office can generally be deducted. “You usually have to do a significant part of the work – for example three days a week – at home,” says Markus Stoll from VZ Vermögenszentrum. However, one room may only be used for the home office.

And if there is a sofa bed for guests in the home office room?

< p>Then, according to the tax expert, the office is not normally considered an office. A deduction is then not possible.

Can the expenses for hygiene masks and corona tests be deducted?

Some cantons accept the masks as medical expenses. The corona tests were paid for by the federal government and are therefore not deductible. “Tests for trips abroad or club visits are not deductible,” says tax expert Stoll.

Can you claim travel expenses and meals when working from home?

Most cantons also allow deductions for travel expenses to the office, the additional costs for meals away from home and the flat rate for professional expenses when working from home. According to Stoll, this deduction is usually higher than the actual costs for the home office. The flat-rate deduction for the Confederation and most cantons is three percent of the net salary (salary after deduction of taxes and duties), but certainly at least 2,000 and a maximum of 4,000 francs.

Can you deduct the cost of public transport to work?

Yes. Unless it is not possible to use public transport or the employer demands that you use a different vehicle for the job, Stoll explains: “The time savings compared to public transport must also be considerable – usually an hour a day or more.”

What if I drive to work?

A charge of 0.7 centimes per kilometer can be claimed for the car. According to the tax specialist, the deduction is limited to a maximum of CHF 3,000 at the federal level. Most cantons have their own maximum deduction amount.

What about the catering?

“The additional costs for external catering can be deducted – even if the canteen is discounted,” says Stoll. In the home office, however, this is only possible in exceptional cases, for example in the canton of Zurich.

This way you don't pay too much tax

Many forget individual deductions – for example donations or medical expenses – and therefore pay too much. Some also forget that they paid money into pillar 3a. It helps to briefly look through the instructions for the tax return with the possible tax deductions.

In retrospect, there is no more money to be saved for the past year. For the future, it is worth paying into Pillar 3a or possibly buying into the pension fund. In this way, you can reduce taxable income and benefit from a lower tax rate when paying out.

What medical expenses can be deducted from taxes?

Everything that the health insurance does not pay for, i.e. the deductible. “For example, visits to the dentist, glasses or hearing aids,” says Stoll. What doesn't work is a deduction for the fitness center. The federal government and most cantons are only able to deduct medical expenses if the total medical expenses exceed five percent of net income.

Bitcoin is experiencing a boom in 2021. Do I also have to pay tax on cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies in private assets must be declared in the list of securities at the market value at the end of the year. “A screenshot of the account balance can also serve as ID,” says Stoll. The wealth tax rates for the most important cryptocurrencies can be found on the rate list of the Swiss Federal Tax Administration.

What can you do if important documents are missing?

The tax specialist advises extending the deadline and getting the documents. In some cases, the tax authorities do not even want to see the receipts. However, if they ask, you have to be able to deliver them.

What do you have to watch out for if you want to extend the deadline?

The extension of the deadline must be applied for before the deadline expires. “After that, it is no longer possible to extend the deadline in some cantons,” explains tax expert Stoll. Some cantons also charge a fee for extending the deadline.

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7341

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