The contribution service of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio wants to change its processes soon. This primarily concerns the payment of broadcasting fees. Don’t worry, they won’t be more expensive themselves. But if you’re not careful, you could be in for a nasty surprise and be asked to pay.
Broadcasting fees: No increase for the time being
According to a report by the Tagesspiegel, the commission to determine the financial requirements of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio has now passed a corresponding decision. Broadcasting fees can remain at EUR 18.36 up to and including 2024.
The broadcasters had indicated additional expenditure of almost 600 million euros that is due for the current contribution period. The reason for this is hardly surprising the ongoing corona crisis, which caused additional costs and lower advertising revenue. A delayed premium adjustment in 2021 was also a factor. However, since costs can be reduced elsewhere and there are additional income and reserves, the additional expenses are considered to be covered.
The total expenditure from 2021 to 2024 amounts to 38.8 billion euros. This is an increase of 6.7 percent from the previous period of 2017 to 2020.
No more letters for broadcasting fees
Until now, there were normally two options for paying broadcasting fees: SEPA direct debit and manual transfer. With the first option, the money is known to be automatically withdrawn from the account. So you don’t have to lift a finger yourself. For the second variant, a request for payment has always been sent by post.
But as the Hamburger Abendblatt is now reporting, this should no longer be the case in the future. The payment reminder will no longer be given. If you miss them, you risk corresponding fees. The default penalty comes into effect first. This is one percent of the outstanding amount, but at least eight euros. If the transfer is still not made after that, a reminder and a notice of assessment are added. This may then include additional costs.
The you have to pay attention now
You have to pay the license fee four times, always in the middle of each quarter: on February 15, May, August and November. If you have also made the transfers manually so far, you will soon receive a final payment request. After that it’s over. In this case you have two options: Either you set up your own reminders. Or you can switch to SEPA direct debit. You will be given the opportunity to do this using a paper form or a QR code.
For the contribution service, the abolition of reminder letters means, above all, a relief for the administration and a reduction in postage costs. Since broadcasting fees have to be paid according to the law, the postal boxes were actually never necessary. It was just common practice, plain and simple.
However, if you no longer want to pay any more for certain reasons, there is an option for this as well: Here we explain how you can deregister your apartment from paying the broadcasting license fee.
Source: Hamburger Abendblatt