Toblerone… better buy it in Singapore!

Toblerone!

The famous bar of Swiss chocolate, resembling its mountains with its unique triangular shape, is an institution in Switzerland.

It is for sure one of the most famous brands of the Confederation!

Very good! Then I should be able to buy it at the best possible conditions in a Swiss supermarket or specialised shop.

Wrong! Coop, one of the three most common Swiss supermarkets, sells a 100 g Toblerone bar for 2.20 CHF.

While wandering around in Vivo City, one of the most futuristic shopping malls in Singapore (Singapore! One of the most expensive countries in the world… and not just around the corner of the Alps!), I found a great deal!

Basically, in the nice Southeast-Asian country, 100 g of Toblerone were offered at a price of 2 Singaporean dollars, which corresponds to 1.45 CHF! One third cheaper than in the Chocolate Confederation!!

What is it? Is Toblerone a fading commodity nowadays, or do their producers prefer that it is bought far away from the Alps being confused as a souvenir and a specialty from another country?

Tax declaration in Switzerland… almost a pleasure!

Finally it’s done! My tax declaration 2018 is completed.
I just brought it to the finance department of my village today, tightly complying with the usual due date of the 31st of March!
In Switzerland the fiscal federalism is an actual reality! As calculated in the declaration, 85% of my taxes will be used in the Canton and the village and just 15% for the state.
Therefore the money will be mainly used “locally” to cover the needs of the population.
As a motivation for the tax declaration, together with the instructions, we, in Canton Argovia, received an interesting letter explaining some facts about our Canton and the use of the tax money in the last five years.


The population increased by 5.4% from 636’000 to 670’000.


The number of children in the primary school and kindergarten increased by 5.2% from 73’500 to 77’400.


The jobs in the Canton for every 1’000 inhabitants decreased from 6.1 to 5.6 since 2013.


In 2017, Canton Argovia could reduce its debts by 67.5 million CHF.


The “Programm Hightech Aargau” promotes innovation with 26.5 million CHF.
Canton Argovia supports companies which are developing innovative products or applying efficient processes.


The offer of digital services of Canton Argovia is continuously increasing with 5G-E-Government projects. For example, now it is possible to register an address change just electronically.

These facts show that the money paid with the taxes is operationally used near us, for us!
In Switzerland it’s happening… in many other countries not really!

Money, money, money



[Photo of ABBA’s “Money money money”: from hitparade.ch]

Even if the title is the same as the successful song by ABBA, this story is just a boring “black and white” matter of Swiss francs, bills and burocracy.
Due to the fact that Switzerland is the country of all welfare records, including the highest prices of the world, a lot of people living near the border prefer to buy stuff in Germany.
Some weeks ago we went to Germany to buy some tyres. Coming back, with the tyres proudly making themselves visible from the trunk, we were stopped by the severe customs officer.
Having bought these tyres in Amazon with delivery in Germany, we did not have any receipt. By the way, for some ununderstandable rules, the tyres shall always be declared and the relevant 7.7% Swiss VAT shall be paid! (Apparently, also tyres which are lying in the trunk shall be considered as a single piece with the car, and therefore their VAT shall be paid).
How did the custom officer calculate the VAT? Basing his figures just on my verbal declaration of the possible price of the tyres!
Strange, right?!
Price and rigorous VAT calculation starting from a verbal supposed price, but the relevant receipt given to me as bumptious bill with Swiss flag and four languages to say “Swiss Confederation”.

Very vague about the rules, but very precise when it goes to money!
Should the famous ABBA song eventually be proposed as new national anthem of the Confederation?