The broadcast contribution fee, also referred to as the GEZ tax, currently amounts to € 17.50 for private households and is paid on a monthly basis. Since 2015 all citizens, enterprises and institutions, as well as, institutions of the common good have to pay the broadcasting contribution.
The basis for the contribution payment is a solidarity financing model in which citizens – together – are to finance the public broadcasting channels. This means that every household is automatically liable for the fee. Exemption from the GEZ contribution is only possible under certain conditions, since the legislature in 2013 has presupposed that every household has the technical equipment for the reception – regardless of whether the appliances function or are in use.
Many people do not agree with this broadcasting enforcement. This often leads to contradictions because the contribution obligation is often regarded as unjustified and people are restricted in their freedom by the obligation to pay. Quite often the payment of the broadcasting fee is rejected. However, even if this is quite understandable in the individual case, so far, every household has to pay the contribution. It does not matter whether the programs of public broadcasting stations (ARD, ZDF, etc.) or the radio are used or not. Any complaint has been dismissed up to the present day and usually only leads to additional costs.
Under certain conditions, however, the legislator grants a GEZ exemption. This is checked for each individual case and is only permitted with all the necessary documents. A prerequisite for the exemption of the broadcasting contribution is the entitlement to Arbeitslosengeld 2. Thus, Hartz 4 eligible recipients can request a GEZ exemption.
The legal measures for this have been adapted in recent years. Thus, the concept of the broadcasting fee was replaced in 2013 by the broadcasting contribution. This also changed the name “GEZ” (fee collection center) to “AZDBS” (ARD-ZDF-Germany radio subscription service). However, this term has not yet been adopted in the Volksmund, which is why the term GEZ is used. However, the name change is not quite as inconspicuous as the name change also changes the legal basis for all citizens. Fees can only be levied for public charges if services have actually been used. A contribution can also be demanded if the possibility exists. Thus, the legislator saves the costly examination of all households and makes all citizens automatically subject to exemptions and reductions with the following conditions, automatically payable.
GEZ exemption: The Prerequisites
A GEZ exemption is possible for individuals under the following 12 conditions:
- They are recipients of social money or Arbeitslosengeld II- / Hartz 4.
- They are recipients of aid for life support (§§27 to 40 SGB XII or § 27a or 27d of the BVG).
- They receive benefits under the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act.
- They receive benefits for children, young people and young adults who live in a permanent establishment (SGB VIII, § 45 SGB VIII).
- They receive basic old age assistance (§§ 41 to 46 SGB XII).
- They receive vocational education and training (§§ 99, 100 No. 5 SGB III) and no longer live with their parents.
- They are training recipients (§ 104 SGB III).
- They receive Bafög and no longer live with their parents.
- They are a sole proprietor (§ 27 e BVG).
- They are deaf-blind or blind-folders
- They are beneficiaries of long-term care allowance, assistance to care (§§61 to 66 SGB XII) or aid to care within the meaning of the War Victims Protection BVG.
- They are granted nursing allowances (Section 267 (1) of the LAG) or you have been granted a voluntary allowance for long-term care (Section 267 (2) sentence 1 No. 2 LAG).
People who are visually impaired or hearing impaired can apply for a GEZ reduction.
This applies to:
- People with visual impairment and thus, a degree of disability of 60% with a recognized RF mark.
- Hearing impaired people, whose communication is not possible with the help of hearing aids (RF mark assigned).
- People with 80% disability who are not able to attend public events (RF mark awarded).