Radio and television licence fee rules applicable to international organisations (IOs) and their staff.
The Federal Act on Radio and Television (RTVA) and the applicable implementing Ordinance (RTVO) have been revised and the new provisions came into force on 1 January 2019. From this date, the collection of radio and television licence fees will be carried out by SERAFE AG.
In principle, all persons residing in Switzerland must pay the radio and television licence fee (see Art. 69a of the RTVA). One fee is due per household. The taxation is done automatically by SERAFE AG.
Who is exempt from the fee?
The following are not required to pay the radio and television licence fee:
- international organisations benefiting from an agreement on privileges and immunities, provided they are not considered as undertakings under Article 70 RTVA (under this article, an undertaking is defined as any entity registered with the Federal Tax Administration in the register of persons subject to VAT);
- senior management and senior officials of international organisations (institutional beneficiaries) with a headquarters agreement, as well as their family members, if they enjoy diplomatic status and hold a type “B” or “C” FDFA legitimation card (Art. 61 para. 3 (b) RTVO).
International organisations and the above-mentioned persons are automatically exempt from the fee.
When a member of a private household meets the conditions for exemption set out in Art. 69b para. 1 (b) RTVA, the fee is waived for all members of the household concerned (Art. 69b para. 2 RTVA). This principle also applies when a family member is a Swiss national, holds a residence permit (B permit) or a permanent residence permit (C permit) or when a private domestic worker with a type “F” FDFA legitimation card is living in the same household as the main beneficiary.
Who is subject to the fee?
Other staff members of the international organisation, including those of Swiss nationality, will systematically remain subject to the fee. SERAFE AG send them the corresponding invoice to their private residence.
As of 1 January 2021, the radio and television licence fee amounts to CHF 335 per year. This fee is invoiced by SERAFE AG and is not subject to VAT.