Billag tax hack?


I don’t really know what exactly they mean by “IPTV provider”, but my gut feeling is youtube doesn’t count :slight_smile: So you’ve still been paying for nothing

And I already said most likely they can’t really double check you. Privacy!


First post on the forum :slightly_smiling_face:
Swiss girl here, I confirm that in 2018 you can only pay for the radio part, per household. That’s 165 chf/year. I am glad to pay that as I listen to the couleur3 radio a lot. I have never heard of Billag actually taking legal action.

BUT the provider will change in 2019 and every household will be paying 365 CHF per year. So the radio only “hack” works only for 2018.

If you really want to hack the Billag tax, imo the best way is to find an agreement with your neighbours and pretend you are all living in the same household. Billag currently only looks at the address which should be the same to determine what is a household.
Again, not sure that will work in 2019…


They don’t seem to have access to Einwohnerregister indeed, but a couple of years ago at least they still had inspectors going out and looking at people’s mailboxes, that’s how they could catch this abuse.



BUT the provider will change in 2019 and every household will be paying 365 CHF per year. So the radio only “hack” works only for 2018.

Are you sure about the 365 for every household regardless of radio or TV ?

I have heard that from a few person but I haven’t been able to find a source.



I already posted the link earlier but here you go again:

I am not sure if the amount is definitive at this point but during the initiative it was said to be around 400


Thanks, it seems I missed it :frowning:


The 365 CHF (1 franc per day) seems fixed now.

Here are the exceptions listed:

  • if you receive benefits (AVS/AI)
  • you can opt out if you have no possibility of receiving radio and television. Limited to up to 2023 only. -> I guess they will be really tough on this one now, it’s by application only.
  • foreign diplomats
  • if you are deaf and blind

The FAQ mentions that even people not registered with Billag will be billed by Serafe in 2019, so they will probably receive information from federal or cantonal admin. This was indeed not the case with Billag.


I think that IPTV would include all the ISP’s offers and stuff like Zattoo


@Bojack you linked an old law. the new one is here:

There is no mention about Geräte.

But they say:

The collection agency shall obtain the data on households and their members required for collecting the fee from the following registers:

etc etc.
So they know where/when someone is new.

There also art 69 that speaks about Households. I suppose this is the new law for 2019 though. I’m not sure what they do this year then…


Thanks all, this thread is very informative.

To add to what has been said, the new system that will replace Billag in 2019 (Serafe) does allow some exemptions. My reading is that if you have neither radio nor television, you can opt-out until 2023.

However that may not mean much in practice. Because of the way the current system (Billag) works, I assume that “no radio nor television” will also mean “no Internet”. But I wasn’t able to confirm this by reading the law.


From 1.1.19 onwards, on request private households can be exempted from the fee (“opting out”). This possibility exists until to 31 December 2023. The application will be approved if no equipment suitable for the reception of radio or television programme services is present or is operated in the private household.


Here is the opt-out form from Serafe:

Even though the web pages clearly describe the exemption:

All members of a private household that does not contain or operate a device suitable for receiving radio or television can apply to opt out from the fee for one fee period.

The Federal Council determines which device categories are suitable for receiving radio and television. This exemption option will be available for five years from the introduction of the household fee.

…the form only gives options to declare that a device is “not available”. If it is “not operated” (e.g. internet connection, but not used for TV or radio?), I’m not sure what’s the right way to fill this form.

Has anyone tried to opt-out of Serafe?


Don’t waste your time. It’s a tax. Pay it. I seriously doubt you don’t have a PC or anything that can connect to the internet.


I definitely have devices that connect to the internet, but never used to watch TV or listen to radio. I’ve asked them the question, I’ll post their answer here.
But you’re right, I doubt there’s a way to opt-out in that case.

Don’t waste your time.

Writing one e-mail to get a small chance of saving CHF 365 / year sounds worth it to me.


They ask you if you have a TV…Radio Controlled Alarm, PC … and then there is the question you said. I suppose even if the question is tricky, the first part could be enough to say No.

Let us know what they say.


I the past I knew some people that simply dodged the tax by telling them they don’t have a receiving device. Billag checkers were not allowed to enter your flat, so they first had to escalate it to Bakom which was able to order House Searches. This only happened if they had an indicator that you where lying.

You have to be able to check all the boxes in the form to opt out. So no one in this forum will meet the criteria for the opt-out. With the new system when opting out you are telling that you don’t have a PC, Smartphone, Internet Connection, Car with Radio etc. It doesn’t matter if you ever watch TV or Radio. Also ownership of the device doesn’t matter, if it’s in your home you have to pay the tax. AND more importantly by opting out you give them permission to check your flat without a search warrant. So if they show up ad your doorstep there is no way out. Checks are now performed directly by Bakom and they hired ~6 additional people to perform those checks. So chances that they will actually check your home are extremely high and fines are up to CHF 5’000 on top to the tax.

So simply pay the fee and be done with it unless you want to live in constant fear.


It’s sane advice, but just because something is a law, doesn’t mean it’s right or that you have to obey it.

You can also not open the door and pretend you’re not there :slight_smile: . There were a few occasions where some stranger was knocking on my door, I never open.

All that being said, I also think it’s better just to pay it and not be stressed. Especially if you’re an expat on a permit.You don’t want to have tax evasion in your file. :stuck_out_tongue:


Sure, I guess that way you can dodge the fine. But if they cannot check your home they will probably also not give you the exemption. And in 5 years the opt-out will no longer be available anyway.


Absolutely, my goal is definitely not to dodge a tax that I should be paying, but rather understand the exact criteria for exemption.

That’s the thing: the form to fill only has boxes saying “I don’t own a PC, smartphone, etc”; but on and Serafe’s website there is a provision for devices that are present but “not operated”.
I’m only interested in disambiguating this “not operated” case first, and then most likely we’ll have to pay the tax.


If you have a phone or a pc, or even a car radio, you have to pay the tax. A way out may be to become blind and deaf, but not the most recommended :slight_smile:


Can you specifically quote the provision you are referring to? The RTVG and the text in the both the form and on the serafe website are clear on this: If the device is present you pay. There is nothing about not operated.