Swiss Committee Rejects Carers Tax Break Initiative
by Ulrika Lomas, Lowtax.net, Brussels
18 February, 2014
The Committee for Economic Affairs and Taxation (CEAT) of the Swiss Council of States has rejected a parliamentary initiative (12.453) calling for carers in Switzerland to be granted exemption from tax on lump sum payments awarded for the provision of care in the home.
The initiative was rejected by seven votes to three, with two abstentions.
In the CEAT communiqué, the Committee made clear its view that those who look after a close relative carry out a valuable role, enabling the elderly or sick, or indeed those in need of a particular type of care, to remain in their own environment, surrounded by friends and family, while at the same time delaying hospitalizations and nursing home placements.
The majority of the CEAT Committee nevertheless rejected the idea of according any type of tax exemption, arguing that such a measure would predominantly serve to benefit high-income individuals, and that it would therefore be preferable to improve existing conditions for carers.
In contrast, a Committee minority found that it would be "useful" to explore the issue.
Defending his initiative, Jean-François Steiert of the French Socialist Party (SP/FR) made clear that no taxes should be imposed on the merely "symbolic contributions" paid out to carers, particularly given that care in the home means that the vulnerable are not forced to go into hospital or a home, where costs are more expensive.
The initiative will now return to the CEAT Committee of the Swiss National Council, which had narrowly voted in favor of the measure previously.
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