The fee is being levied regardless of equipment. All private and collective households must in principle pay the universal fee. For a transitional period of 5 years, however, it will be possible to be exempted from paying the fee (see also FAQ's under Opting-out).
The new universal fee system for private and collective households
a) For a private household CHF 365
b) For a collective household (Old-age and nursing homes, hostels, penal institutions, boarding schools, asylum accommodation, etc.) CHF 730
c) For businesses, a graduated system of tariffs applies
In all the country’s different language regions it will enable a diversified, equivalent offering of programme services to be provided. The largest part of the fee will go to the SSR-SRG, but local radio and television broadcasters from all the language regions will benefit from it.
Collective households are, for example, old people's homes and nursing homes, hospitals, student hostels, prisons, etc. Article 2 of the Register Harmonization Ordinance (RHO; CC 431.021) lists definitively the types of collective households. A collective household pays a household fee of CHF 730 annually. The body responsible for the collective household is responsible for payment of the fee.
If a collective household is subject to value-added tax and if it has an annual turnover of at least CHF 500,000, it is additionally subject to the business fee.
Obligation to pay the fee
Yes. A reduction of the fee is not provided for in law. The fee is in principle independent of the presence of receiving equipment (radio or television equipment) in the household.
Yes. Every household has to pay the fee regardless of which radio and/or television programme services are consumed.
Yes. The new obligation to pay the fee is device-independent. Households which have no possibility of receiving radio or television programme services can arrange to be exempted from payment of the fee for five years.
Registration and exemption
No. Every household will automatically receive a bill from Serafe.
No. For billing, the collection agency, Serafe, uses data provided from the residents' registers of the cantons and municipalities. If you move house, it is important that you communicate this information to your residents' register office immediately.
Private households in which a person lives,
- who receives annual supplementary benefits relating to the AHV or IV pensions;
- who has a Federal Department of Foreign Affairs identity card (type B, C, D, E, K red, K blue or K violet);
- who is deaf-blind (if no person obliged to pay the fee is a member of the household).
There is also an Opting-out option for those households in which there are no means of reception (for either radio or television).
Recipients of annual supplementary benefits associated with AHV or IV pensions are exempt for a maximum of five years retroactively from the commencement of receipt of supplementary benefits (but from the time of introduction of the household fee on 1 January 2019 at the earliest).
No, data on the persons who receive annual supplementary benefits to the old age, survivors and invalidity insurance have been transmitted from Billag to Serafe. Exempted households in the old system will not receive an invoice and do not have to do anything.
No, only persons who receive annual supplementary benefits associated with old age, survivors and invalidity insurance can be exempted from the fee. The exemption applies to this person's household. In the case of social benefits, the fee for radio and television, like the current reception fee, is included in the in the basic needs used to derive subsistence.
No. An old people's home or care home is considered to be a collective household, which has to pay the collective household fee for its members. The fee is therefore paid directly by the home.
No. The fee paid by a household applies to the main residence but also to a secondary residence, whether it is used by one or more household members.
(Exception: If a person's main residence is abroad, they have to pay the fee for their secondary residence in Switzerland).
No. The fee has to be paid only for one's main residence. Members of this household who live for a number of days a week in a different location do not have to pay the fee twice.
Yes, you will get be reimbursed the amount for this period. Here's how it works: the residents' registration office will inform Serafe of the household's deregistration and of your emigration. To receive the refund of the amount, inform Serafe of your bank account details.
Not in principle. Only people who deregister their place of residence in Switzerland and move abroad receive a refund. If a place of residence in Switzerland is maintained, there is no exemption from the fee.
No. Someone who goes abroad only temporarily and who does not cease to reside in Switzerland continues to be liable for the fee with Serafe AG.
The only persons who do not have to pay the fee are those who do not have a principal residence or a secondary residence in Switzerland.
Today reception equipment can no longer be allocated unambiguously to one specific individual intended purpose, as was previously the case for a radio, a television set or a telephone. Therefore both Parliament and the voters in the referendum in 2015 approved a device-independent fee.
One fee must be paid per household. All adults in this household are jointly responsible for this fee.
- Direct debit procedure via bank account DDP)
- Direct debit via PostFinance account (DD)
- Paying-in slip (PS)
Yes. Anyone liable to pay the fee can request quarterly bills for the household of which they are a member. If the collection agency has to provide this in paper form, the household has to pay CHF 2 in addition to the fee for each bill. If the quarterly bill is paid, for example, by e-bill, this additional amount of CHF 2 does not apply.
Yes. Payment by instalments can be granted. Interested parties should contact Serafe.
For the household fee, quarterly billing can be requested. If Serafe has to provide this in paper form, the household has to pay CHF 2 in addition to the fee for each bill.
If the fee for a household is not paid, after unsuccessful reminders a prosecution will be initiated against one of the members of the household.
In principle Serafe sends out annual bills. Quarterly bills can be sent on request.
In this first year of collection of the new fee, billing takes place in two stages, with a partial bill and an annual bill. Each household is assigned on a random basis to one of twelve billing groups. Those in the first group will receive an annual bill for CHF 365 in January. In January those in the second group will receive a bill for that month only followed by the annual bill in February. A household in the third group will receive an invoice in January for January and February followed by the annual bill in March, and so on through the year.
The annual bill and the partial bills will include enclosures which contain additional information on the new fee system, including billing.
Each bill lists all adult members of a household.
The address block lists all adults up to a household size of three members. In the case of households of more than three adult members, the personal denomination of one person is listed in the address block, which also contains the wording "other persons liable for the fee".
DETEC is currently preparing a legal basis for a lump-sum repayment in the form of a credit to all households, without these needing to become active. Parliament will have to finally decide on this and determine the amount of the lump sum. Serafe AG cannot yet therefore implement the deduction.
The business fee
From 1.1.19 onwards, on request private households can be exempted from the fee ("opting out"). This possibility exists until to 31 December 2023. The application will be approved if no equipment suitable for the reception of radio or television programme services is present or is operated in the private household.
- An application for exemption from the fee can be made at any time after receipt of the bill.
- The application must be resubmitted for each fee period.
- The application form will be made available by Serafe AG, which will be collecting the fee from 1 January 2019 onwards.
- OFCOM is responsible for monitoring households and for the enforcement of administrative criminal procedures.
Anyone who is specified on the fee invoice can submit an application to Serafe for an exemption from the fee.
The application can be submitted to Serafe at any time after the bill is received. Serafe provides an application form.
If the application is submitted within 30 days of the date of the bill, the exemption takes effect on approval of the application, retroactively from the start of the relevant fee period until that period ends. If the application is submitted later, then the exemption takes effect from the following month until the end of the fee period in question.
"Opting-out" applies in each case to one fee period, until the next time your annual bill is sent out.
No. Serafe will only provide OFCOM with the approved opt-out applications. OFCOM is responsible for checks and for the enforcement of administrative criminal procedures.
Yes. OFCOM may enter the premises of an exempted household to check whether the conditions for Opting-out are met.
Anyone who is a member of an opted-out household but who has or operates equipment suitable for reception of radio or television programme services is liable to a fine of up to CHF 5000.
OFCOM is responsible for prosecuting and judging punishable actions.
The possibility of reception must be notified to Serafe in advance.
Data provision and data protection
The household data for billing the household fee is supplied to Serafe from the residents' registers.
If you find any mistakes in the addressing of the bill for the fee, please contact Serafe.
The data necessary for the collection of the household fee is subject to the Federal Act on Data Protection (FADP). Serafe is responsible to the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) for the lawful management of the data.
Serafe is allowed to process data only for the collection of the fee and may pass it on to others only for these purposes. This is laid down in the Radio and Television Act (Article 69f paragraph 2 RTVA).
Last modification 17.04.2019
Tel. 058 460 55 11
Sector radio-television fee
Tel. 058 460 54 39
Post office box
Tel. 058 201 31 67
FTA (Federal tax administration)
Main Division for Value Added Tax