Audiovisual public contribution
Find out in which cases this contribution applies to your household.
Update : November 2018
This contribution is due if:
- You are not entitled to exemption from the "taxe d'habitation" (residence tax)
- You have a television set or a similar device equipped with a tuner allowing the reception of television at home (except computer, tablet and smartphone). It also covers i.e. a mechanism linking several devices connected wirelessly or with a cable and allowing the reception of signals, pictures or sounds by electromagnetic means (e.g. a flat panel display without tuner associated to a DVD player equipped with one). If you watch television only through your computer, smartphone, or tablet or through a micro-computer provided with a TV capture card and if you don't have any television set or similar device at home, you don't have to pay the fee. The French government confirmed in July 2018 that these devices weren’t and wouldn’t be concerned by the contribution.
The contribution, which is about 139€ in metropolitan France or 89 € in the French overseas departments, is due by the person occupying the residence so either the owner or the tenant. The fee is payable per household irrespective of the number of persons living there and irrespective of the number of TV sets and/or similar devices.
Exemptions: If you are granted complete exemption from the "taxe d'habitation", you will be granted automatic exemption from the audiovisual public contribution as well. Exemptions may also apply if your fiscal reference income equals zero, in case of certain disabilities or for elderly people (detail of the applicable conditions on service-public.fr). For further information, please contact your tax authority.
If you are exempted from audiovisual public contribution for any reason referred to above, you have to inform the administration by checking the appropriate box on your income tax return.
Payment of the contribution: The "contribution à l'audiovisuel public" is payable altogether with the "taxe d'habitation", so it will be automatically calculated by the French fiscal administration and you will pay them altogether. In the event of late payment, the whole amount will be increased by 10%.
If on 1st January none of your residencies (principal home or secondary home) is equipped with a television set, do not forget to indicate this in your income tax declaration, by ticking the corresponding box. Otherwise the fee will be automatically applied.
In the case of a false declaration, you risk a fine of 150€ in addition to the payment of the audiovisual licence fee.
Should you be wrongly required to pay the audiovisual public contribution, you can submit the claim to the tax office mentioned on your tax notice. (You will find more information on the modalities on service public.fr).
Good to know
In case you buy a TV set from a shop or in an auction, you will have to sign a declaration with your name and address, date and place of birth which will be transferred to the French fiscal administration. If you inherited or borrowed the TV set or if it was offered to you, you do not have any formalities to accomplish.
Your principal residence has no TV but you have one in your secondary residence? In this case, you will have to pay the audiovisual license fee and you will receive a tax notice together with the residence tax for your principal residence.
Your principal residence is abroad and you have a secondary residence only in France with a TV-set. In this case, too, you have to pay the audiovisual public contribution. The audiovisual public contribution finances public TV and radio organisms (France Televisions, Arte-France, Radio France, Réseau Outre-Mer 1ère, RFI, Institut national de l'audiovisuel).
For more information you can have a look at the website of the Ministry of Finance.
In September 2018, the French Government mentioned the reconsideration of who should pay the « contribution à l’audiovisuel public », which is the fee for usage of the public service broadcasting. The contribution is currently only due by those who own a television set. However, since the public service broadcasting is nowadays also accessible from smartphones, tablets and computers, the government sees a need to adapt the fee to the new consumption habits. Therefore, in future days, the only possession of any of these devices might justify the payment of such a contribution. The discussions on the subject are ongoing.