A small step for working parents: Swiss gov’t support over childcare tax issue

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Working couples with children who were worried when they saw the UDC People’s Party popular initiative that would give tax cuts to families with a stay-at-home parent received support today from the government. The Swiss Federal Council says it cannot back the initiative because “fiscal law must be as neutral as possible and not favour the traditional family model, as the initiative does”.

A new federal law went into effect 1 January 2011 that allows an income tax deduction for the cost of childcare by a third party as long as the costs can be proven and the child is not yet 14 years old. The maximum allowed deduction is CHF10,100 a year for the federal income tax.

Cantons have until 1 January 2013 to adapt their legislation to allow the deduction, and they are free to set their own ceilings for cantonal taxes.

The federal tax system does not allow parents who care for children at home to deduct the cost, although cantons Zug and Lucerne do, but the UDC’s agenda calls for promoting the traditional family.