Do I need a TV licence?


(geoff faulkner) #1

I know that in the UK you only need to have a TV in the house to make it an obligation to buy a TV licence - even if you have no aeriel and do not watch it.

We do not watch TV (although we have TV's for DVD's / internet video etc) and it seems that my outside aeriel is now in need of replacement so I was thinking of simply removing it and opting not to pay the redivance audiovisuel (or what it is called) on my taxe foncieres.

Do you think that removing my aeriel will absolve me from this?

regards to all

geoff


(Christian Mauve) #2

Hi Geoff,

The problem is that you have a TV monitor and a DVD player. French tax administration considers that to be a TV. If you wish not to pay the redevance, you have to get rid of them and watch films on your computer (there are rumors it may be taxed too in the future). Of course, removing your aerial and checking that your telephone and Internet contract do not include cable TV services are precautions to be taken. On you personal tax returns, you must declare that you don't have a TV set (First page, box ORA). Usually, your local tax office does not bother to take that into account and they will ask you to pay the redevance included in the local tax (taxe d'habitation and not taxes foncières as you mentioned). You have then to claim (online it's quite easy) and not pay for the redevance. Tax people usually agree with that without further explanation.

Hope that helps.

Christian


(Graham Lees) #3

your local tax office does not bother to take that into account and they will ask you to pay the redevance

...but since that declaration is made in May (on your tax return) it may not be effective until January the following year (the relevant period for everything French is Jan - Dec).

You will be asked to make a declaration 'on your honour' that you do not have a TV. The French authorities take a mis-declaration very seriously indeed...


(Christian Mauve) #4

Actually, it's effective in October-November the same year when you pay the taxe d'habitation.

That's serious indeed and they can send someone to check, although they don't do it anymore as they used to. I guess they just check whether you are connected to a TV service provider. It's cost savvy for them.

Anyway, I am fine with that as I quit TV 10 years ago after reading the book "TV Lobotomie" (unfortunately only in French). Worth reading.

Christian


(Graham Lees) #5

Sorry Christian, I have to disagree...

The relevant law is: “Par toutes les personnes physiques imposables à la taxe d’habitation au titre d’un local meublé affecté à l’habitation, à la condition de détenir au 1er janvier de l’année au cours de laquelle la contribution à l’audiovisuel public est due un appareil récepteur de télévision ou un dispositif assimilé permettant la réception de la télévision pour l’usage privatif du foyer.”

This translates to be: "For all individuals subject to council tax under a furnished room allocated for housing, provided to hold at 1 January of the year in which the contribution to public broadcasting is due a receiver of television or similar device enabling the reception of television for the private use of the household. "

Unless the law has changed recently (which it sometimes does, of course...)


(geoff faulkner) #6

thanks all for the inputs.

Graham, as with most translations there can be a grey area and I am wondering if "un appareil récepteur de télévision ou un dispositif assimilé permettant la réception de la télévision" would translate to 'aeriel' or 'television' ?


(Christian Mauve) #7

Graham,

Quote is right but I don't see why and where I would be wrong. The local tax is to be paid in fall based on the situation as of January 1st (that's why if one tenant moves into a house on January 2nd, the previous tenant has to pay for the local tax unless they find an agreement).

As there is no such thing as annual returns for the local tax, the situation (TV or no TV) is declared in May that very same year on the personal tax returns.

For Geoff,

Eeven in French the sentence "un appareil récepteur de télévision ou un dispositif assimilé permettant la réception de la télévision" can mean anything from an unconnected TV set to a PC with a modem access to cable TV. As far as I am aware, tax administration does not tax PC but a TV set, with or without an aerial will be taxed.

Christian


(Graham Lees) #8

You wrote: "Actually, it's effective in October-November the same year when you pay the taxe d'habitation. "

By that comment, I could only surmise that you meant the licence is effective in October-November the same year which would not be correct and that is what I was correcting.

Perhaps I took your comment too literally...


(geoff faulkner) #9

thanks again all for your inputs. So, it would seem that the rule is the same as in the UK - if you have a TV, you have to pay up - regardless of whether you have an aeriel.

cheers

geoff


(Christian Mauve) #10

This was wrongly stated from my side. Sorry for the misunderstanding.


(Graham Lees) #11

No problem Christian. Glad we cleared that up.