GEZ - the TV licence fees agency

787 posts in this topic

It's not a tax, and it's not a licence is for the privelage (sic) of receiving TV broadcasts. It's a licence to own radio and/or TV reception equipment. In theory you must pay a fee for every reciever you own, radio or TV, irrespective of whether you use it, whether it works, or whether it is capable of receiving German TV/Radio, so you must (should) pay it if you have:

  • Any TV (whether from Germany, US or UK, whether it works or not, or whether you use it or not)
  • Any VCR
  • A satellite reciever
  • A car radio
  • a TV or Radio tuner card in your PC
  • a portable radio

In theory you need to pay for each individual device you own, but in practice they only presume you have one TV and one radio, and only expect to pay as such (unless you are a business, in which case each unit IS charged). Note that if you have a company car, or car that is used primarilly for company business, then the car radio (if it has one) is chargable seperately and cannot be combined with your home license.

 

The charge is €16.15 for a TV, €5.32 for a radio or €16.15 for one of each. Note that every adult with his/her own income in a house must pay the fees, the only exception being your wife, husband or long-term partner. Hence a working son or daughter living at home must also pay. You must also pay for devices in a second home.

 

Registering your residence passes your new details to a number of agencies, including the GEZ. Despite data protection issues in most, but not all German states this transfer of registration information is permitted by law. Their assumption is that most people have a TV or radio, so if they haven't heard from you registering your TV or radio within 3 months, you'll get the dreaded letter. Whether you answer it, or pay is up to you, but they can and do chase most defaulters...

 

YorkshireLad6

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The way I see it is that they send their radio waves into my house univited and have the nerve to charge them for it. I prefer nothing other than coming home to blessed static/snow but they have these damn uniwshed-for programs that come through my walls and correspond with/overwhelm my most cherished static frequencies.. *sob* *sob* :P

 

Can I set up a transmitter outside their offices and charge them for it? :D

 

 

Rumour also has it that when you register your address with the Kreisverwaltungsreferat this information gets passed on to the GEZ.
It does. I re-registered at the KVR after having de-registering some months earlier (same apartment). Lo and behold within a week started getting a series of GEZ notices out of the blue. Hmmm...

 

 

Rumour also has it that when you register your address with the Kreisverwaltungsreferat this information gets passed on to the GEZ.

Don't be so sure. Perhaps the devices they have *here* are just for show. However if you read up on Van Eck Phreaking and the TEMPEST program you'll learn that it's technically possible for them to watch what you're seeing on every tube /computer screen in the house. In fact, it's very difficult for you to prevent them from knowing what you're watching. Great for industrial espionage too...

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I dont accept that you should have a licence just because it gives you the right to own a TV or radio?? Where does it say this?

 

All licences are privelages. A hunting licence is not the right to own a gun, it is the right to go and hunt. You can own a car without a licence, you just cant drive it.

 

A marriage licence...no wait a minute...some people might not class this as a privelage!! :P

 

A TV licence is the right to receive TV broadcasts, not to own the Telly.

 

The radio licence is the bigger joke, the UK dropped the radio licence because radios were popping up everywhere and it became impossible to enforce the fee.

 

If & when I eventually go off and buy the cable to stick in the wall, I will then of course gladly pay my fee, but until then I aint paying a cent.

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What happens in the case of the poor guy with a metal plate in his head - or Tooth fillings - who picks up Antenne Bayern with them !! How do they charge him ??

 

Fcukin STOOOOOPID regulations here !! Just hope they don't catch me !!

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and I absolutely refuse to pour my hard earned and heavily taxed money into a dying country's system for something so stupid

@myself. I actually do pay. It is included in the rent. :blink:

 

@everyone... Just think of it as public radio or tv that needs your sponsorship to keep it going I guess.

Our membership drive continues despite having many doors slammed in our faces.

A word from our president and CEO Helmut Klink. "Watch out. We WILL get you someday!" :ph34r:

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This is a really useful thread. I always had an inkling that you should refuse to let them in. Its certainly what I do with with Jehova's witnesses, and I shall treat GEZ accordingly, (after turning off the TV)

 

Shit, I hope GEZ spies don't read this

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Just don't answer your door unless you're expecting someone. It's pretty hard for someone to trick you into admitting you have a TV if you don't even answer the door.

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Maybe "license" is the wrong word (and certainly not a translation of GEZ). let's just say it's a permit to own something - in this case a TV or radio reciever. You may not like it and are welcome to be anarchic and dispute it, but it's simply a law, and alone you are unlikely to change it...

 

YorkshireLad6

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Just think of it as public radio or tv that needs your sponsorship to keep it going

That's exactly how I think of it, and I'm fine with paying the fee. Even if I don't watch the shows, I like the concept of not having to pander programming to sponsorship needs.

 

As for not letting them in, I think if they push it, they can just get a court order for an inspection, or so I've heard.

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ok so I should start paying GEZ, can you pay it monthly? or do they like it in half yearly installments etc?

 

P

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You can pay 4 times a year or pay in one lump sum. No monthly payments. And it isn't included in your rent - that's your cable charge. The licence is a personal charge, so that if 2 umarried people live together and both have a bedroom each and a telly in each bedroom, well both have to have a licence, so your rent won't cover it.

Get the forms from your bank or the post office.

Katrina x

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Well I'm giving up radio, cos I wont pay for a licence

You can probably get away with not having a license if you watch/listen to streamed TV/radio on the internet. Assuming you've got a decent connection there are plenty of stations out there. I spent a couple of hours listening to Triple J yesterday...

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OK, on my dinner I splashed out a whopping 1.69€ for a cable to stick in to my wall. Guess this means I will now go off and get a licence ;)

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GEZ man came to the door last night asking if I had a radio or TV. Just a warning to all who aren't paying, turn down your TV when answering the door during dinner time or don't answer the door if you don't know who it is.

 

He was a nice burly chap asking for another neighbor's door and then asked who I was- cause my door doesn't have a name plate. He then flashed his Bayerische Rundfunk ID and asked if I had a tv or radio. "Nur ein computer." I said.

 

And I thought my house was immune due to the fact that our landlords say that they pay a lump sum for the whole building.

 

I live in Schwabing, btw.

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BUT: if you've had (say) serious mental health issues or STDS do you really want the sales staff at your local Apotheke seeing that when you pick up a painkiller prescription?

are you sure he didn't mean for the kabelgebühr?

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And I thought my house was immune due to the fact that our landlords say that they pay a lump sum for the whole building

Probably for Kabel, but not for GEZ - that's normally attributable to a family unit...

 

Beware, if you've now told them you have no TV/Radio/VCR/Car radio and they subsequently find you have, then the problems increase... Look out for a detector van pointing up at your apartment window :)

 

YL6

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A general warning really, ALWAYS look throguh the spy hole or use the door chain.

 

I remember someone I know in Munich opening their door, burning joint in hand, and it was the effing police!

 

I agree with the idea of TV licencsing.

 

The quality of publicly funded broadcasting is higher than the purly commercial stations. But why is the German version hígher than the UKs for tbh a worse service.

 

The BBC does make a special effort to have programming that caters for minorities: ARD/ZDF/Bay. Rundfunk doesn't.

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A detector van? Damn I thought they were just trying to see me in my drawers...now I find out its just about the electronic goods. Jeeze.

 

Anyhoo, the GEZ tracked me down. Sent me a letter threatening me with a 1K euro fine if I didn't start paying. Funny part is that it was the FIRST contact I had from them but apparently they've known I've been here for a while. Anyway, I don't mind paying seeing as how I'm learning German from a combination of Sesame Strasse in the mornings and soft core porn in the evenings. Lesson plan one: elmo wants to count the alte hexens...eine, zwei...eh nevermind that Elmo. You should here his lesson plan for verbs. Dirty red bastard.

 

Though I did have it in my head that if I was officially caught in person by the GEZ I'd pay quick but I'd go full on evangelical and try to save em for as long as I could. That'll learn em to knock on my door. Infidels.

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Alone you are unlikely to change it, indeed. But various groups are under way to try and abolish the system:

 

http://www.gez-abschaffen.de/

http://www.anti-gez-verein.de.vu/

http://www.rundfunkgebuehrenzahler.de/

 

Personally, I think abolishing won't be possible b/c that would mean the end of ARD/ZDF, while the majority of Germans prefer to keep it.

 

As practically every household has a TV/Radio, I guess the easiest/fairest thing to do would be to include it in tax (I believe the Dutch have done something like that?).

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