Radio and TV licence fee: who has to pay and when can I opt out?

Many of us consider the TV and radio licence fee to be an unnecessary drain on people’s money. However, these fees have their place in a democratic state and perform an important function. That does not mean that it is not a fairly large sum. So in this article, we’ll look at who actually has to pay the fees and give you advice on how to avoid them and in what situations you can opt out.

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Chapters of the article

Who has to pay the radio and television licence fee

In the Czech Republic, radio and television fees are compulsory for all those who own receiving equipment capable of receiving television or radio broadcasts, regardless of whether they actually use the equipment to receive Czech Television or Czech Radio broadcasts.

This means that if you have a television or radio (or other device capable of receiving a radio or television signal) in your home, you must pay the relevant fee. This applies even if you only watch commercial platforms such as Hulu, Netflix or HBO on TV. On the other hand, it does not apply to other devices that can watch TV, but only online and are not devices that can receive a TV signal. This includes, for example, a laptop or mobile phone. On the other hand, if your computer has a so-called TV card or FM/DVB-T tuner, then you already have to pay the TV and radio fees, as this device is able to connect to TV and radio broadcasts.

What is also important to mention is that these fees are not payable per person, by number of devices or for multiple properties owned by you. They apply to the household as a whole. This means that it doesn’t matter if your household is made up of yourself or 10 people, and it doesn’t matter if you have 20 TVs or none. Similarly, you only pay one charge if you own a house, flat and cottage.

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You don’t have a TV or radio, do you still have to pay?

If you do not own a TV or a computer that can receive TV broadcasts, you are not obliged to pay the TV licence fee. The same is true for radio. However, it is possible that you may still receive a notice from Czech TV or radio that they have you as an unregistered ratepayer based on data from your electricity provider. In this case, you must send an affidavit to Czech Television and Radio within 30 days stating that you do not own a TV or radio. However, if you own a car and have a car radio in it, then you are subject to the radio charge and must pay it.

Who does not pay the radio and TV licence fee

Some households are exempt from paying the TV and radio charge. Specifically, they fall into three groups:

  1. Disabled households: households where all members are totally or almost totally blind or partially or partially deaf do not have to pay the fees. However, if the household includes a person or persons who do not have this disability, then the household is obliged to pay the fees.
  2. Socially disadvantaged households: Fees are not payable by households whose total sum of the net income of all members in one calendar quarter does not exceed 2.15 times the minimum subsistence level (for 2024 the minimum subsistence level per individual is set at CZK 4 860 per month). To confirm this, you must provide proof of your income. The fee waiver then lasts for six months and then you must again provide proof of income.
  3. Foreigners: Households made up of foreigners who are not permanent or long-term residents do not have to pay.

What the radio and TV licence fee is paid for

The purpose of the licence fee is to finance the public media – specifically Czech Television and Czech Radio. These institutions are defined as public service broadcasters and aim to provide objective, balanced and broad spectrum information, news, educational, cultural and entertainment content to the public. The concession fee therefore serves to enable these institutions to operate independently of political and commercial influences, which is considered a fundamental prerequisite for media freedom and pluralism. This, in turn, is one of the foundations of a democratic state.

How to sign up for the radio and TV licence fee

There are three ways to sign up for the TV licence fee :

  1. The easiest way is online directly on the Czech Television website. Here you can create an account using your email address. You enter basic information (your name, date of birth and permanent address), choose the frequency of payments and the payment method. You can pay monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. You can pay by card or bank transfer.
  2. The second option is to download a form which you fill in and then send to the Czech Television’s email: poplatky@ceskatelevize.cz, to their mailbox: ID y7rjeuf or by post to Czech Television, Television Fees, Kavčí hory, 140 70 Prague 4. You can pay again in four different frequencies, by card or bank transfer.
  3. The third option is to sign up for the fee at the Czech Post and pay using SIPO. This allows you to combine all the different payments into one. You can solve e.g. utility, telephone, insurance, TV and radio charges.

You can also sign up for the radio licence fee in three ways:

  1. Again, online directly on the Czech Radio website with the same details and the same payment frequency options. Payment is made by bank transfer.
  2. You can also sign up by filling in the registration form, which you can then send to the Czech Radio email: poplatek@rozhlas.cz, to the data box ID rnaadje or by post to the address Czech Radio – radio fees, Vinohradská 1409/12, 120 99 PRAHA 2.
  3. The third option is again the SIPO service from the Czech Post.

How much does the radio and TV fee cost?

For the whole household, a total of CZK 135 per month is paid for TV broadcasting and CZK 45 per month for radio. The due date is always the 15th of the month, regardless of whether you pay monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually.

What if you don’t pay?

If you do not sign up for the fees, even if you should, you will incur a debt and a surcharge. The surcharge is 10,000 crowns for the TV licence fee and 5,000 crowns for the radio licence fee. If you are excluded from paying the fees (e.g. due to low income) but have not reported this, then you must pay a surcharge of CZK 1,000 for both radio and TV.

If you do not pay at all, Czech Television and Czech Radio will go to collect this amount. In addition to the total amount, you will also have to pay interest, court costs and possible execution. It is therefore worth not ignoring the fees.

Tip: Have you incurred a debt unjustly? Contact an Dostupný advokát. We will conduct a careful analysis of your case and pursue your rights vigorously.

Cancellation of TV and radio fees

You can cancel your TV and radio charges in several cases. In particular, these are situations where:

  • Thepayer has died: If the deceased paid the fees via SIPO, they must be cancelled at the Czech Post Office. To do this, the death certificate and the SIPO connection number must be presented. If the deceased paid directly into the account of Czech Television or Czech Radio, the death certificate must be sent to the email, data box or address of Czech Television or Czech Radio.
  • You no longer have a television or radio: In this case, you must fill in a registration form and send it to the email, data box or address of Czech Television or Radio.
  • You have joined anew household with someone who already pays the fees: send the variable number of this payer to Czech Television or Radio and submit the TV or radio fee opt-out form with it.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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