Need to Pay TV and Radio Tax in Germany or Not – Rundfunkbeitrag

When you will move to Germany for any type of studies. After Registration in Ausländer you will receive a letter from ARD ADF Deutschlandradio. This letter will be for Rundfunkbeitrag or Radio Tax. This letter reminds you to pay 17.50 Euro Radio Tax per month, whether you have a TV or Radio in your apartment or not. You can pay 17.50 Euro per month or 210 Euro annually.

Mostly international students in Germany don’t watch TV and don’t listen Radio. It is mostly because of German language barrier. Majority of students watch anything they want on internet in their desired language. So, they don’t need to own a TV or Radio in local German language. When international students found this letter in their letter box.

They thought that whether we need to pay TV and Radio Tax in Germany or Not. Because for an international student 17.50 Euro is big amount to pay every month. They remain confused on this Tax, because without owning a TV or Radio it is illogical to pay 17.50 Euro per month. But whatever you think good or bad, at the end you need to pay this Tax.

In January 1, 2013 German authorities introduced a new TV and Radio license Tax which called “Rundfunkbeitrag”. According to this Tax it is necessary for every person who living in Germany to pay 17.98 Euro TV and Radio license Tax per month. Then in April 1, 2015 this Tax amount reduced to 17.50 Euro per month. The purpose of this Tax fee is to support public broadcasting services (i.e. TV channels ARD and ZDF, public radio stations, and associated websites).

Many other countries like Pakistan also charge this type of TV tax per month. But if you don’t own a TV then you are mostly exempt from this TV tax in Pakistan. But here in Germany there is no exemption from this TV and Radio Tax. Whether you have a TV/Radio or not, it is necessary for you to pay this Tax. Otherwise you will receive a huge fine receipt from ARD ADF Deutschlandradio.

So, after understanding the detailed information about this Tax. Now you need to understand how you can pay this Tax every month. If you are living alone in a signal apartment then you need to pay this whole amount of 17.50 Euro per month. But if you are living in a shared accommodation, then you don’t need to pay this Tax fee alone. In shared accommodations this fee will divide on all the persons who living together. Therefore it will be easy for you to pay this Tax every month as a student.

When you move in any apartment or Studentenwohnheim. Then asked to that students who already living in the apartment about this Tax. If they are already paying this Tax, then you need to share with them this amount. To share this Tax amount you need to do the following things.

The person who already paying this fee in your apartment, request him to give you his/her account details from which he/she paying this Tax amount. Or request him to sit together just for few minutes to fill the online registration form for this Tax. In which he/she need to give his/her account details, which will proves that you are sharing this amount in a shared accommodation.

You can send them back a filled letter which you will receive in your letter box or register online. Online registration method to pay this Tax mentioned on the letter which you receive from ARD ADF Deutschlandradio. According to my suggestion online method is easy to free from this headache. Just visit this [⇑link] and register there with your own information and already paid person’s bank account details. It will just took few minutes and then you will receive a confirmation letter later on from ARD ADF Deutschlandradio. That’s it, now you are free from this Tax headache.

Students who are living in a signal apartments. They also follow the same online procedure with their own bank account details. Don’t ignore this letter, because if you will not clear these dues. Then you will receive a fine receipt of 500 or 800 Euro. Locals can ignore this letter and Tax, but international students face too much headache by refusing to pay this Tax. Better to pay 17.50 Euro or shared amount rather then payment of 500-880 Euro fine.