COVID sceptics in Switzerland refusing to pay taxes in protest
A new report by Schweiz am Wochenende has revealed that a growing number of people are refusing to complete their Swiss tax return, in order to protest against COVID restrictions and mandates in general.
Tax avoidance in protest of COVID rules
Despite the recent lifting of most COVID restrictions in Switzerland, the weekend newspaper revealed that many people are choosing to not pay Swiss taxes. They argue that restrictions like the COVID certificate mean that they have been excluded from public life and, in theory, shouldn’t have to pay for public services like public transport and social security.
This phenomenon was confirmed by the tax authorities in Lucerne and St. Gallen, with one spokesperson noting that “this type of reaction was more numerous [in 2022] compared to previous years.” Officials from St. Gallen say that many chose to challenge the “legitimacy” of each canton in levying taxes.
Swiss tax protest "has little chance of bearing fruit"
“People call us and adopt a rude and inappropriate tone,” said spokesperson for the Zurich tax office, Reto Flury. In Bern, the tax office said that it was receiving more and more letters from people rejecting tax obligations on the grounds that the canton had not acted "legitimately" when enforcing COVID rules.
Despite the recent rise in cases, Schweiz am Wochenende noted that the rebellion “has little chance of bearing fruit.” Those who do not submit their tax return on time receive two reminders, before being fined up to 10.000 Swiss francs by the canton for repeat violations. If no such fine is paid, then the police get involved and carry out seizures.