Television licensing in Sweden
The current licence fee (Swedish: TV-avgift, literally TV fee) in Sweden is 2076 kr (€250) per annum. It is collected on behalf of the three public broadcasters (Sveriges Television, Sveriges Radio and Sveriges Utbildningsradio) by Radiotjänst i Kiruna AB, which is jointly owned by them.
The fee pays for five TV channels, 45 radio channels as well as TV and radio on the Internet. In Sweden, the term "television licence" was replaced a few years ago by "television fee". The fee is collected by Radiotjänst from every household containing a TV set, and possession of such a device must be reported to Radiotjänst as required by law. One fee is collected per household regardless of number of TV sets, in the home or in alternate locations owned by the household such as summer houses. Although the fee also pays for radio broadcasting, there is no fee for radios. Suggestions of replacing the fee with a tax or a mandatory fee which is collected together with and like a tax occur sometimes in the media. One important argument against a literal tax is that these broadcasters are not owned by the state nor are they controlled by the government.
Around 90% of households have reported that they have a television set and thereby need to pay the fee. However, the number of households not containing a TV set are considered by Radiotjänst to be a lot fewer than the 10% that don't pay licences. The personnel of Radiotjänst i Kiruna AB have no authority to investigate inside households (for instance flats on higher floor levels).
Requirement to pay TV fee for Internet access
In February 2013 Radiotjänst i Kiruna AB have changed their interpretation of the Swedish television fee law. In their new interpretation any personal computer or tablet connected to the Internet is also considered a TV-set and requires payment of the TV fee. Between then and June 13:th 2014, when The Supreme Administrative Court reversed the decisions by lower courts, who agreed with Radiotjänst's interpretation internet connected devices were supposed to be reported as TV sets. The reasoning is that the purpose of a computer is not receive television broadcasts nor are there any broadcasts on Internet since you have to request that the content is streamed to you.
Radiotjänst on June 13th 2014 clearly states that no fees for internet connected devices will be repaid. Reasoning is that until then the legal system supported Radiotjänst's interpretation, even though a superior court has nullified all that support.
- "Radiotjänst". Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- "Vem äger public service?"
- "In Sweden, TV Tax Comes to Smartphones", Gustav Sandstrom, Wall Street Journal, 1 March 2013.
- "Ingen tv-avgift för dator"
- "Important information regarding the ruling of the Supreme administrative court concerning fee obligation for computers, tablet PCs and mobile phones"
- Lag (1989:41) om TV-avgift (The law governing Television licensing in Sweden.)
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