Broadcasting fees must be paid for all households – however, a special regulation applies to secondary dwellings. How to apply.
Hamburg – The broadcasting fee is a tiresome topic for many. A large proportion of Germans (35 percent) would prefer not to pay the unpopular fees at all. This was the result of a survey conducted by the Insa Institute for the Bild newspaper. Currently, the monthly broadcasting fee is 18.36 euros. According to the survey, many find the broadcasting fee (formerly GEZ) too high. According to the survey, 13 percent would pay up to 4.99 euros a month, while 16 percent would still agree with 9.99 euros.
Secret plans have recently been leaked that the GEZ would like to drastically increase the broadcasting fee. Many ask themselves whether it is possible to avoid the broadcasting fee by taking legal action. However, for some, only a third of the fees are due. In addition, not all pensioners have to pay broadcasting fees.
In principle, there are broadcasting fees for all households, but as the consumer advice center Hamburg writes, there is good news for owners of second homes. Consequently, an exemption from the broadcasting fee for the secondary residence is possible – provided that specific requirements are met.
Deregistration of the broadcasting fee: Exemption from the obligation to pay the broadcasting fee for secondary residence possible
Strictly speaking, a second home is also considered a household, but as the consumer portal CHIP reports, a special regulation has been in place for some time. According to a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court, the levying of fees for a second home is not compatible with the Basic Law. Accordingly, you can now save twice the fee. However, the consumer would have to take action himself.
An exemption from the broadcasting fee is possible under certain circumstances. (Symbolic image) © IMAGO
According to the Hamburg Consumer Advice Centre, owners of a secondary residence (married couples and registered partners) who have not registered their main residence with the contribution service can be exempted from the broadcasting fee. Proof of marriage or registered civil partnership must be provided. It is irrelevant which of the two has registered the apartment in their own name.
Deregistration of the broadcasting fee: How you can exempt your second home from it
The exemption from the broadcasting fee for a second home – this includes holiday apartments, gazebos and dachas – can be a complicated matter for many. The following things need to be considered:
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- Persons who can prove that they already pay the broadcasting fee for their main residence are to be exempted from the obligation to pay the fee for their secondary residences upon application.
- The exemption from the obligation to pay the broadcasting fee for secondary dwellings is made in writing to the contribution service of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio. An application form is available on rundfunkbeitrag.de. The application can be submitted online.
- In order to be able to apply for exemption from the broadcasting fee, the applicant must be registered with the Residents' Registration Office with both apartments. The official proof must show that the main and secondary residence are registered in the name of the applicant as well as the respective move-in date in the apartments.
- The main and secondary residences are registered with the Contribution Service on the applicant. The exemption applies only to the applicant himself. Other adult roommates in this secondary apartment are obliged to report to the contribution service so that their obligation to pay contributions can be checked.
- In principle, the exemption begins from the month in which the application is submitted or up to three months before this date, provided that the exemption requirements have occurred during this period. If the application is submitted later, the exemption does not take place from the month of collection, but only from the month of application.
- Sources: rundfunkbeitrag.de, CHIP
As the consumer portal writes, the new law has been in place since November 1, 2019, which entitles both spouses to pay the broadcasting fee only for their main residence. Previously, the contribution service had required that the spouse had to register separately if he also used the second home.
If their application for exemption was not approved in the past, i.e. before November 2019, it could have been because of this. The Hamburg Consumer Advice Centre therefore recommends that those affected whose application for exemption failed before the new regulation came into force submit a new application. (Vivian Werg)