Reception fee: No reimbursement of value-added tax

Biel/Bienne, 20.08.2015 - The value-added tax on the reception fee will not be reimbursed retroactively. This is the conclusion reached by OFCOM, which together with the FTA analysed the consequences of the Federal Court judgement, according to which fee-payers do not have to pay value-added tax on the reception fee.

In a judgement on 13 April 2015, the Federal Court determined that fee-payers do not have to pay value-added tax on the radio and television reception fee. Since that time, fee invoices have been sent out exclusive of value-added tax. However, the Federal Court left open the question of reimbursement.

On the one hand, in principle a judgement affects only the persons involved in the procedure. On the other hand, for reasons of legal certainty, a change in practice in principle impinges only on the future. Therefore the value-added tax for radio and television reception before April 2015 is not being reimbursed. Until the Federal Court's change in practice, the Confederation had no cause not to collect value-added tax on reception fees. Accordingly, on 19 August 2015 the Federal Council responded to two motions by National Councillor Sylvia Flückiger (motion 15.3416, interpellation 15.3418).

Since its introduction in 1995, value-added tax has been charged on the radio and television reception fee and this has not been contested to date. This question was raised for the first time in the procedure, which has now led to the Federal Court decision of 13 April 2015. The Federal Administrative Court, as the first instance of the Federal Court, had initially confirmed the value-added tax liability.

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