No Billag: Swiss People Like Taxes

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No Billag - Swiss people like to pay taxes Logo

Yesterday, the Swiss people were voting on several objects. The No-Billag initiative was one of them, as I mentioned earlier. This initiative wanted to remove the Billag tax. This tax supports the Swiss TV and Radio services. This tax is currently around 450 CHF. But the government will reduce the tax next year to 365 CHF. Unfortunately, the Swiss citizens strongly refused the initiative :(

I have to say that I am quite disappointed in my fellow citizens today. It seems like people like to pay inconsiderate taxes. Thus, we will still have to pay this tax. The only upside is that the tax will be less expensive next year. But that is still a tax paying for nothing I am using.

The Billag Tax

There is a BIG problem with this tax. There are two parts to the tax, one part for the radio and one part for the television. If you have a car, you need to pay the radio tax even if you never listen to the radio. I never listen to the radio. If you have a television or access to the internet, you need to pay the TV tax even if you never watch TV. Again, I never watch TV. Moreover, this tax is only to pay for Swiss radio and TV services. So if you have a TV and only watch foreign TV network, you still have to pay the tax to finance Swiss TV networks. This makes no sense at all and the Swiss should have refused the initiative yesterday. Now, we need to pay this tax for a long time again for no reason.

To sum up, I will have to pay 365 CHF each year for Radio and TV services that I never use.

There is one slight possibility that I recently came across. When I first registered to this terrible tax, they told me that having internet was enough to need to pay the tax. But, looking at the official conditions, you need to have an account on an online TV service to pay the tax. Thus, I am going to ask them to remove me from the TV tax and pay only for the radio tax. This should at least save me some money. I am even inclined to remove my radio from my car to not pay the tax anymore. But that is a bit extreme.

Update: Unfortunately, it turns out that it not possible anymore to not pay the television tax. Now, everybody has to pay the damn tax.

What do you think about this? What did you vote?

About the author

Mr. The Poor Swiss

Mr. The Poor Swiss is the main author behind thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized that he was spending more and more every year, falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut on his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. In 2018, he saved more than 40% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

6 thoughts on “No Billag: Swiss People Like Taxes”

  1. Greetings from Geneva!

    Since I arrived, I’ve only been paying for the Radio. I have no car but my phone can access the radio so I would rather not try to get out of it.

    I’ve never owned a TV nor have an IP-TV account to watch TV online so I think I’m pretty covered to not have to pay the TV one.

    Kind regards,
    Philippe

    1. Hi Philippe,

      Greetings from Fribourg, thanks for stopping by.

      Yes, you should be more than covered :)

      Since you have internet, the radio need to paid, there is no way around it :s

      It’s not quite clear what is going to happen for 2019 with the 365 CHF instead of 451 CHF. It seems there is no more distinction between radio/TV, so you may have to pay as well :S

  2. Hello,

    Since i now have no choice but to pay for it, i decided to use it as much as i could.. (it’s kind of a change of mindset, let’s say..) and i love it !the programs are of excellent quality, it’s quite a discovery.
    A lot of countries also save this tax but it is included in their personal income taxes (like in France, the tax is cheaper, but compared to the lower salaries, not so much..in France, in theory if you don’t have some of the appliances you shouldn’t pay for it, but most people still prefer to pay for the tax because not paying for this tax is commonly known as being one of the signs inspectors look for to target tax audits – during which they always find something more expensive that you have forgotten to declare).
    So overall, if you have to pay this tax, better use what you pay for..

    1. Hi Flora,

      That’s very interesting :)
      I agree that since we have to pay it, we may as well enjoy it. But I do not find it as entertaining as you do. I am glad you find it so good :)

      Yes, most countries have this tax. It’s a bit crazy that they target people that do not pay this tax. I guess it’s a good way to make people pay it. But it would be better if it was mandatory in that case…

      I have to admit I am a bit salty since we had the chance to refuse a tax and we did not even take it. And since I do not use it at all, I’d rather not pay it.

      I should give it a chance again. With my new schedule, I should be in my car for the 7am news report. I may give it a try since I pay anyway.

      Thanks a lot for stopping by!

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