Billag tax hack?

I was just reading @thepoorswiss’s blog and this bit caught my eye:

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’m going to ask them to remove me from the TV tax and pay only for the radio tax.

OMG. Is that actually true? @thepoorswiss please let us know what they say, I’d love to be able to stop paying at least for the TV!

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@Alex Hi Alex

Glad that my blog was of use :stuck_out_tongue:

My brother already did this and didn’t have any issue.

And if you look at the website, it’s clearly stated:

If you can watch television on your computer, tablet or mobile phone, you must register for television reception if you have an account (even if it’s for free) with an internet television (IP-TV) provider.

Seems clear to me that it should work. You should be able to only pay the radio fee.

I haven’t contacted them yet since I still have a lot of time since next bill. Moreover, deregistration seems to be only doable by written mail. I may try to call first to see if it’s possible to do it directly on the phone.

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Let me know what the procedure is when you find out, I’m very interested!

I have heard about it from an older Swiss guy. He has no TV at home and only pays the radio billag.

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If you have a TV or watch programs online, just pay it and don’t bother finding how not to pay it. They might find you and then you have to pay 5000chf fine + all the previous costs.


Agreed on that. My blog post was only for those that don’t have TV programs and don’t watch TV on their computer. It’s not worth it to try to hack if you are using it.

Also I"m not sure what they think about Youtube or Vimeo…

I have a TV, but I don’t watch TV programs on it or on the computer. I still pay for Billag now because it’s just too difficult to avoid it, but there’s really no legal reason why I should: I don’t watch or listen to any Swiss media at all.

Sorry but that “don’t watch Swiss media” is nonsense for them.

You should think like we are in the 80ies. You pay the radio frequencies used to transmit wirelessly the signals to your antenna. That’s what you pay.

Art. 68 Gebühren- und Meldepflicht: Wer ein zum Empfang von Radio- und Fernsehprogrammen geeignetes Gerät (Empfangsgerät) zum Betrieb bereithält oder betreibt, muss eine Empfangsgebühr bezahlen.

So basically, if you just have a device that is ready to operate, you still have to pay. In order to be excluded, you would have to hide that TV in the basement and lock it up.

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This does not matter a lot, as soon (if not already) the device based tax will be replaced with a general one (as voted on in 2015 and won by 3649 votes) but with the speed of Swiss politics it will take a couple of years to fully take effect.

Personally I think this was one of the main triggers of the no-billag debate as it forces everyone to pay.

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Yes, this was my understanding, and also why I pay. Hence why I was surprised by @thepoorswiss’s comment and why I wanted more information to see if there was another option or if it was just fake news. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi everyone,

On my end I have only ever paid Billag for Radio since I arrived in Geneva (2 years now).
I don’t have a physical TV, no account for IP-TV and I simply don’t watch TV.
I haven’t had any issues so far.


That is very interesting I have no TV and yet I have been paying the whole thing. Do I have to change it on my profile @billag or do I have to fill some sort of form? Does a projector (thinking of buying one) count as a tv as well?

This is very clearly stated on billag’s own website and even in English, here’s direct citation:

Q “I have internet access. Do I need to register for radio and television reception?”
A “You must register for radio reception if your computer, tablet or mobile phone can be used to listen to the radio. If you can watch television on your computer, tablet or mobile phone, you must register for television reception if you have an account (even if it’s for free) with an internet television (IP-TV) provider.”

Considering that they don’t do raids any more and there’s practically no way for them to check whether you have an account at some IP-TV provider whatever the heck that is, or not, if you’ve been paying TV tax this whole time you’re an idiot…

Anyone, soon everyone will be forced to pay it, so it doesn’t really much matter

I think you’re a bit harsh there man, ease off, will you? I have not been paying billag at the beginning, even though I had a tv (used for youtube). But I have been constantly getting these letters with “threats” from Billag and a few times I had a ring at my door in the evening by some woman, where I pretended I wasn’t home. I live a good life here in Switzerland and not paying billag made me feel really paranoid. After all, let’s not forget it’s breaking the law. Who knows how bad it could end for a foreigner if they did catch you?

In the end my gf moved in with me, and she has been paying billag for years and was completely opposed to not paying. Fun fact: she only pays the TV billag, not the radio (practically not possible to avoid, any smartphone or laptop can receive radio).

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Wrong again. Read the law, especially the part about 5k fine. You have to pay radio at least, there’s no way out. The TV part is totally optional however (for a short while more)

So the idiot part you meant about TV? Well I don’t know. Gf has been only paying the TV billag for years and nobody ever had a problem with that.

Anyway, if they want to fund their local media, they should just force everyone to pay and not make some silly rules. Now you pay billag by household, so a family of 4 pays the same as a single person - not really fair.

And you’re living with her? Then indeed you yourself don’t have to pay as you’re in same household, the fee is per household

Well the only one who has to care about it is she herself - she gave them more money than strictly necessary, of course they don’t mind, and noone else cares

I don’t think you’re 100% correct there. This IPTV account bit applies to devices like laptops and smartphones. Not to a classic TV. The way I understand it, if you have a TV at home, you have to pay. Maybe I’m wrong. Anyway, now I split the cost of ca. 300 CHF per year between two people and like you said, soon they will charge everybody so maybe at least these discussions will end.