Image tax: in which countries are TV fees required, and where they are “stretched” even further

During the discussion of all the pros and cons of smart TV under our first habrapost on 100 comments – a variety of assessments and opinions were voiced. Someone focused on vendor-lockothers criticized Automatic Content Recognition function, third offered option “TV + media server” based on an old PC, and they were written in response in defense of smart tv

Today we decided to continue the topic and discuss where it is customary to pay “television tax“.

Photo: Gaspar Uhas.  Source:
Photo: Gaspar Uhas. Source:

Contributions in Swedish

As soon as television appeared in the country [1956 год], those wishing to join the viewing were obliged to annually contribute twenty-five Swedish kronor to the treasury [$40 или около 3 тыс. руб. по сегодняшнему курсу с учетом инфляции]… The payments were administered by a state company, which was immediately renamed from Telegraph Agency to Televerket.

Accounting was carried out by households, but as the restructuring of broadcasting structures decided switch to fees only from adults, including the amount of the annual fee [к 2018 году он составлял $282,5 или 22 тыс.руб по текущему курсу] into the so-called general public service tax. Its size was made 1.5 times lower.

Sweden was on the verge of a “home internet tax”. In the period from 2013 to 2014, the country was investigating whether local laws allow it to be taken into account as a means of access to television. At that time, TV tax collections were about 800 million euros per year, although regulator spent about 146 million on his activities. His attempt to expand revenues through a new interpretation of the law [в пользу взносов за интернет] turned into failure.

The initiative was supported by the courts, but the Supreme Court nevertheless canceled their decisions, although the regulator did not compensate for the excess fees. Although Sweden has its own version of the “tax on discs”, which includes fees for external and embedded media, if their volume exceeds the threshold. The last identified even for computers and smartphones.

This tax is paid separately – in addition to the general one, which we discussed above.

Photo: Cindy Tang.  Source:
Photo: Cindy Tang. Source:

How much in dollars and euros

The highest annual TV fees – in Austria [€335] and Switzerland [€322]… In the UK, Denmark and Germany – one and a half times lower. By the way, the citizens of the latter have already opposed obligations to pay such a “tax” about five years ago, but did not achieve benefits [от взносов освободили студентов, получающих поддержку от государства]…

By comparison, in the United States, the average annual household fee is about $ 450including hidden fees. And there too not everyone is happy situation.

Stretch to internet

They tried to do this not only in Sweden.

In 2014, the Hungarian Minister of Economy proposed to introduce a telecom tax of $ 0.5 [сегодняший эквивалент 150 форинтов с учетом инфляции] for using 1GB of data received or sent domestically. Initiative led to demonstrations and received negative reviews at the EU level. After that, the government rolled back the reform.

In France, a plan to modernize audiovisual channels, including the replacement of TV advertising revenue with contributions for the use of new communication media, began to be discussed back in 2008, and in the middle of last year they took spread the tax for multinational IT companies that earn through advertising based on the analysis of data from citizens of the country.

At the end of the 19th, such an initiative accepted in Italy and started discussing in the Czech Republic, and in this – among the countries that have taken a course on similar measures in relation to the IT sector, entered and UK.

Photo: Pablo García Saldaña.  Source:
Photo: Pablo García Saldaña. Source:

So, TV fees have smoothly flowed into the “tax on discs”, which gradually becomes “network” and something similar to the well-known Google tax… Time will tell whether the whole of Europe will perform in a single impulse or will we have a wave of variations in the training camp in conjunction with television.

Our collections on the topic on Habré:

  • Get, Sort Out & Set Up Your Home Theater: 10 Reviews and Guides

  • “Repair for sound”: we deal with the acoustic preparation of the room

Additional reading in World of Hi-Fi:

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