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Old 27.10.2016, 11:23
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Billag - principal residence?

Hello,

I am an American living in Switzerland for a PhD. I moved here December 2016. I got a letter for the Billag tax and went online to fill out the survey. The first question asks if the apt I live in is my principal residence. I'm not sure if this apartment is my principal residence. I've been living in that apartment since February 2016. My parents have a house in California that I've been living in most of my life and I always thought of that as my principal residence. Does anybody know the definition of principal residence in Switzerland? Thanks in advance

- Jane
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Old 27.10.2016, 11:26
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Re: Billag - principal residence?

You live here and have a residency / student permit? Then this for the time of your studies is your primary residence.

Last edited by roegner; 27.10.2016 at 12:05. Reason: Typo
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Old 27.10.2016, 11:29
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Re: Billag - principal residence?

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Hello,

I am an American living in Switzerland for a PhD. I moved here December 2016. I got a letter for the Billag tax and went online to fill out the survey. The first question asks if the apt I live in is my principal residence. I'm not sure if this apartment is my principal residence. I've been living in that apartment since February 2016. My parents have a house in California that I've been living in most of my life and I always thought of that as my principal residence. Does anybody know the definition of principal residence in Switzerland? Thanks in advance

- Jane
It's a Swiss website about Swiss Billag, I doubt they care about where your parents live. They need to know your residence within Switzerland in order to apply the charge.
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Old 27.10.2016, 11:37
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Re: Billag - principal residence?

All can be found in English on the Billag website, it is really not difficult.

https://www.billag.ch/private/fees/

You will have to pay, if that is your underlying question.


In Switzerland, you are legaly obligated to pay the radio and television fees. By paying the fees you enable radio and television programmes in every part of Switzerland.

Anyone who has a device via which they can listen to the radio or watch television programmes is obliged to register it and pay the fee. There is no limit on the number of people in a single household who can watch and listen to broadcasts through any device or distribution channel (cable, telephone network, satellite).
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Old 27.10.2016, 11:52
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Re: Billag - principal residence?

Just that you do not pay to much:
There are two Bilag license. On is the radio license which covers radios only and there is a TV license which covers TV only.

Legally speaking, you will need a radio license when you have a AM/FM or DAB radio. Any radio. In your car, in your phone, in your alarm clock. Also if you have a internet connection at home and you have a device capable of receiving internet radio streams (from anywhere in the world).

You will need a TV license if and only if (aka iff):
- You have a TV set which can receive TV (connected to cable socket, connected to a Sat receiver, or has a built in DVB receiver and antenna If you have an old TV with just an analog tuner connected to a DVD player you wont need a TV license).
- Or you have computer AND a subscription or account with an IP-TV provider (paid or free). An IP-TV provider allows you to watch real live TV stations (from anywhere in the world). Netflix or Amazon Prime are NOT IP-TV providers. Streaming does not need a TV license. A computer alone does not need TV license. (There are also live TV streams where you do not need an account or a subscription. Like the Swiss state TV! If you watch it through their website you do not need a TV license!!)

As you already in the grips of Billag, select Radio only.

Also and most importantly, the license is per household and you can have as many devices as you wish. If you live in a shared flat you will only need one license and can share the cost with your flat mate(s).
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Old 13.06.2017, 00:15
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Re: Billag - principal residence?

Hi! Thanks for this explanation. A quick question, i was at home today and a guy representing billag came to ask questions. I told him we pay the radio thing with our bill from glattwerk (internet connection and channels via a plug on the wall) and he said that is not possible. I am understanding now that this is a tax. We moved in in october 2015 but did not buy a tv until xmas 2015. So, my question is if we have to pay, do we pay radio tax only? Tv tax only or both? We never use radio!

Also, is it retroactive, will we have to pay for the pasts months?

He tried to scare us saying that we only have a week to pay it..... i got worried. Thanks.

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Just that you do not pay to much:
There are two Bilag license. On is the radio license which covers radios only and there is a TV license which covers TV only.

Legally speaking, you will need a radio license when you have a AM/FM or DAB radio. Any radio. In your car, in your phone, in your alarm clock. Also if you have a internet connection at home and you have a device capable of receiving internet radio streams (from anywhere in the world).

You will need a TV license if and only if (aka iff):
- You have a TV set which can receive TV (connected to cable socket, connected to a Sat receiver, or has a built in DVB receiver and antenna If you have an old TV with just an analog tuner connected to a DVD player you wont need a TV license).
- Or you have computer AND a subscription or account with an IP-TV provider (paid or free). An IP-TV provider allows you to watch real live TV stations (from anywhere in the world). Netflix or Amazon Prime are NOT IP-TV providers. Streaming does not need a TV license. A computer alone does not need TV license. (There are also live TV streams where you do not need an account or a subscription. Like the Swiss state TV! If you watch it through their website you do not need a TV license!!)

As you already in the grips of Billag, select Radio only.

Also and most importantly, the license is per household and you can have as many devices as you wish. If you live in a shared flat you will only need one license and can share the cost with your flat mate(s).

Last edited by babel; 13.06.2017 at 00:39.
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Old 13.06.2017, 07:20
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Re: Billag - principal residence?

Please avoid double posting? The question was already answered
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