The new radio-television fee from 2019

18.10.2017: Doris Leuthard announces the amount of the fee

From 1 January 2019 the radio-television fee will be collected from households and businesses. The new device-independent fee replaces the current licence fee, which will be terminated at the end of 2018. The radio-television fee is CHF 365 for each private household per year; a business with an annual turnover above CHF 500'000 will pay between CHF 365 and 35'590 per annum, depending on turnover.

After the revision of the Radio and Television Act (RTVA) was approved in the referendum on 14 June 2015, on 18 October 2017 the Federal Council set 1 January 2019 for the change to the new system and fixed the amount of the fee.

Amount of the fee

  Fee / year (CHF)
Private households 365
Collective households* 730
(according to annual turnover in CHF)
up to 499'999 0
500'000 to 999'999 365
1 million to 4'999'999 910
5 million to 19'999'999 2'280
20 million to 99'999'999 5'750
100 million to 999'999'999 14'240
1 billion and more 35'590
(* Old-age and nursing homes, hostels, penal institutions, boarding schools, asylum accommodation, etc.

Obligation to pay the fee and possibilities of exemption

Unlike the situation with the current fee, from 2019 onwards a household's or business's obligation to pay the fee will no longer depend on whether radio and television sets are present in a household or in a business. The new radio-television fee is device-independent and must in principle be paid by every household and every business. The legislators have provided for the following possibilities of exemption:

Household fee

  • Households with persons who receive annual benefits related to OASI or DI continue to be exempt, subject to application, from the obligation to pay the fee. There is now the possibility of retroactive exemption.
  • Households with no possibility of receiving radio and television can be exempted, on application, from payment of the fee (opting out). This exemption option is limited by statute and will apply only until the end of 2023.
  • Persons who live in a collective household, for example in an old people's home or nursing home, a reform school or a student hostel, do not pay an individual fee for their privately used areas.
  • Foreign diplomats are exempt from the fee.
  • If a deaf-blind person lives alone in a private household, he or she does not have to pay a fee and is exempt from payment.

Business fee

  • Businesses with an annual turnover below CHF 500'000 are not subject to the fee.
  • A group of businesses pays only one fee, which is calculated on the basis of the total turnover of all businesses in the group, if one of the following conditions is met:
    • • This concerns a value-added tax group;
    • • At least 30 businesses under joint management have combined into a business tax group;
    • • Autonomous service agencies of a municipality, a canton or the Federation have combined for the purposes of the business fee.
  • A business in the lowest fee category, i.e. one with a turnover below CHF 1 million, will on application receive a refund of the fee, if it has made no profit or only a small profit in the year in question.

In addition, each household and each business pays the fee once only and is no longer liable for the fee in relation to second homes and branch offices.

The radio-television fee will be collected from households by Serafe AG; the fee will be collected from businesses by the Federal Tax Administration (FTA). Serafe AG and the FTA will inform households and/or businesses in good time about the new radio-television fee before it is introduced, including the possibilities of exemption and relief from the obligation to pay the fee. Corresponding applications cannot therefore be submitted for the time being.

Collection of the licence fee until the end of 2018

Until 31 December 2018 the radio and television licence fee will continue to be collected.

Specialist staff
Last modification 14.03.2018

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