German TV tax – What to do about the Rundfunkbeitrag letter?

When you thought just had it all under control, the German administration has a way to remind you who is the boss. This reminder might take the form of an innocent ARD ZDF letter letting you know about the TV & radio broadcasting fees in Germany, otherwise known at the Rundfunkbeitrag.

This is no less than a German TV tax that each household ought to pay in order to finance the production and the broadcasting of content by public channels.

Rundfunkbeitrag letter german TV tax

Put your anti-bore suit on and learn here why it’s important to take care of this and fast.

Why and how did you receive this Rundfunkbeitrag letter at home?

This German TV tax has been issued by the government in 2013 to replace an older rule that stated that only owners of radio and TV sets should pay any kind of fees. This older rule was hard to apply since it was practically very difficult to check whether or not it was the case for any given individual. Many people lied and got away with it since agents were not legally allowed to come into your home.

Arguably, consumption of public content can now happen with tablets, computers and phones, which everybody has nowdays. As a result, this flat fee was decided and each household in Germany has to pay 17,50€ monthly (since 2015). The institution in charge of collecting TV & radio broadcasting fees in Germany is called “Beitragsservice von ARD, ZDF und Deutschlandradio”, or simply “Beitragsservice”. It replaces the older institution called GEZ (Gebühreneinzugszentrale), which is why you might see this name in forums sometimes.

The reason why you received this Rundfunkbeitrag letter is simple:

The Beitragsservice is a public institution with access to public resources. When registering yourself at the Bürgeramt with the Anmeldung, it was able to access your data and send you a letter.

Which courses of action can you take?

Pay up

The most obvious decision is submit to what is after all an institutionalized TV tax in Germany. A law has been passed and it applies to all citizens. You can register or submit your account details online on the official website.

Apply for exemptions or reductions

Of course, if your vision or your hearing is impaired, you can let the Beitraggservice know about it to reduce or avoid altogether the fee. Recipient of social welfare benefits (Arbeitslosengeld II, Sozialgeld or Grundsicherung im Alter) or grants (BAföG, Berufsausbildungsbeihilfe or Ausbildungsgeld) are also exempted. It makes sense: no need to pass public money around. If you are not German-speaking, i’m afraid this doesn’t count. You still have to pay.

If you are not German-speaking, i’m afraid this doesn’t count. You still have to pay.

Prove someone already pays it for you

This case is particularly relevant for people living in shared flats or other communities. The flat fee of 17,50€ apply to one household and not to each person living within it. This means that if your flat mate already pays for it, simply let them know about it and they will leave you alone.

Ignore the letters

Now there are very well documented cases of people simply staying put and hoping the Beitragsservice letters will go away after a while. After initial reminders, their response will gradually increase in severity. Although this can earn you some time to think about it, the Beitragsservice can use legal actions to obtain their money. Eventually, you will receive a letter from your Finanzamt asking you to pay this on their behalf. Even if this happens only after a year or two, you will have to pay hundreds of euros for all the time you didn’t reply. (17,50€ per month remember?). Additional fees will also occur for sending reminders and being late. More info about this in German here.

Take part to a boycott

There are a certain number of people who think it’s quite unfair to pay a TV tax in Germany when they are never watching any of the programs on public channels. This might seem even more absurd when they can’t speak the language. If you agree, you can take part to boycott movements at your own risks. It is by nature illegal. This website is a good place to start.

Beware, it is by nature illegal.

How to notify you are leaving the country and stop paying the German TV tax?

This is an issue that is all too often forgotten by foreigners moving back to their country. It won’t be enough to notify the Bürgeramt you are leaving the country. An additional notification to the Beitragsservice will be necessary so they remove you from their databases. It is recommended to do it a bit in advance via their website via this form. If you don’t do that and come back to Germany; they will look for you, they will find you, they will make you pay.

Thankfully, Liam Neeson is not in charge of collection

How do i let them know that somebody else in already paying it in my flat/house?

In the case you are moving in somewhere, it’s quite likely somebody else is already paying it. In this case, you can let them know about that via this form, and you won’t need to pay anything further. You will need to provide name, first name and “Beitragsnummer” of that person.

Although it is quite frustrating to be obligated to pay this Rundfunkbeitrag, you might as well give public programs a shot. It’s good for your German skills after all. ARTE is my personal favorite.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


  • Reply Dario Santos 09/02/2020 at 18:41

    I moved to this house with two bedrooms, and i rented only one. For a few months i was the only one living in the house until the landlord found a 2nd person. So i was paying the total bill. But now the other person came, i only want to pay half of it. How does it work? She is not getting the letters and she does not want to pay me half. I mean, they know this person registered in this address. What should i do?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 12/02/2020 at 09:31

      Hey Dario. There is no rule. This needs to be agreed between the two of you. If you share Wifi or electricity bills, this is just another bill to share.

  • Reply John 08/02/2020 at 11:06

    Hi there, I just received my first reminder to pay up and it has this piece of paper that I have to fill in with my IBAN and such, howerver the IBAN field already has “DE” at the beginning. My bank account is not German. I wasn’t expecting this to be an issue, yet turns out that it is. Any tips on what I should do (I really don’t have time to open a new account at the moment as I will be leaving for an errand in less than four days)

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 12/02/2020 at 09:25

      Hey John. Not sure but this piece of paper is probably a “mandat” to let them take out money from your account every time. I believe you don’t need to do that and instead transfer them onto their account directly.

  • Reply Patty 07/02/2020 at 18:44

    Hi! Thank you for the detailed explanation.
    What if I am registered in one address and I get another apartment? Live during the weekend and during working days in other city?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/02/2020 at 09:44

      Hey Patty. This other apartment would be considered a “Nebenwohnung”, depending on where you spent most of the time. You can apply for an exemption for that via this form.

  • Reply Hari Charan Bolisetty 20/01/2020 at 12:22

    I have done my city regisration two month before and waiting for ARD letter. But, till the date I have not received any kind of ARD letter. So what I have to do now?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 21/01/2020 at 09:53

      Hey Hari. You can either wait for the letter to come or proactively signup for it.

  • Reply Margherita Agù 16/01/2020 at 13:24


    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 18/01/2020 at 09:17

      Hey Margherita. Have you seen this? There is advice on that specifically.

  • Reply Maya J 08/01/2020 at 05:55

    Hey…I got letter from them in Oct 2019 and Nov 2019. They had mentioned that I should respond in 4 weeks but I ignored it. Now, I’m finally responding to them today 8th Jan 2020 to their last letter I got in Nov 2019.
    Will there be any problem? From which month will they start the deduction?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/01/2020 at 17:13

      They might apply a late fee on top of what you owe them possibly. They will sent you bill corresponding to your move-in date.

      • Reply Maya J 09/01/2020 at 16:21

        Thanks! but I live in a WG (3 people) and one of my housemates has already been paying for the whole house. So while sending them the filled form, I just put my housemate’s Beitragsnummer. In this case, will I still have to pay the fine?
        Also, how much is the approximate fine for 2 months?

        • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/01/2020 at 09:56

          When your flatmate has been paying it already, you should not pay anything because he/she paid for the household.

  • Reply Rik 05/01/2020 at 14:14

    Hey, I want to know under which segment I need to register because my flat owner pays for the rundfundbeitrag. I have a 9 digit code from them. any tips? thank you in advance!

  • Reply Serah 22/12/2019 at 20:20

    I am new here, please let me know if I did correctly D:
    I recently came to Germany for masters and I have a roommate (also came at the same time as me). when we both recieved a mail to pay this, she sent her information back and received a reply with a Beitragsnummer 189 xxx xxx, that says we need to pay 105 euro. I used this number to register online ( saying the room is already registered and put this number (Beitragsnummer 189 xxx xxx) there. then we sent the 105 euro together (50/50 each). Is this enough? does that mean I am officially registered as her roommate and I share that amount?
    I am worried I’ll receive a mail saying I did not reply and charge me again 🙁

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 30/12/2019 at 15:48

      Hey Serah. As far as i can tell, this was the right course of action. If a letter comes back, state the beitrag nummer again in the response.

  • Reply Shubhaditya Burela 20/12/2019 at 00:40

    Hi, I am student living in germany for the past 1 year. I had a question regarding the payments for the ARD tax. Initially in the flat where I used to live, I used to pay on behalf of all the flatmates for which I had my own beitragsnummer. But now I moved to a new WG where my landlord pays the ARD tax for all the members living in that WG. I informed the ARD through address update form that my address is now changed, but they are still deducting my contribution on a monthly basis. How can I inform them that my landlord pays for all of us and tell them to stop deducting from my account??

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 30/12/2019 at 15:55

      Hey Shubhaditya. You need to give them your landlords’ Beitragsmnummer.

  • Reply Aditya Sawant 18/12/2019 at 14:41

    I have done my city regisration two month before and waiting for ARD letter. But, till the date I have not received any kind of ARD letter. I am subtenant here. Please let me know what to do

  • Reply Saranya 17/12/2019 at 15:44

    I moved in to Germany, last February. I’ve received letters asking to pay. I’m living with my spouse, who is already paying the same. Can I just update them with my spouse’s beitragsnummer and get exempt from paying for already received letters as well.
    Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 30/12/2019 at 15:56


  • Reply Vittoria 24/11/2019 at 20:29

    I’m new to Germany and I am trying to figure out how to register for this fee. I have a flatmate who has just registered the apartment, so I suppose he will receive his Beitragsnummer. However, I have less than two weeks to register for the Deutschlandradio, but I need that number… Do you know how much time does it take for it to arrive? Will a letter arrive to him? What happens if I register few days after the deadline of four weeks after the emission of the letter?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 26/11/2019 at 09:50

      Hey Vittoria. Eventually, a letter will arrive. Maybe that takes a few weeks or even months. Then, they will ask for the money retroactively for those past months. So registering with them first or waiting for the letter is only a way to pay now a little, or a big lump sum later.

  • Reply Ashwini Bhoite 21/11/2019 at 22:07


    How do I inform them I was paying under a particular Beitragsnummer?

    Just a simple letter mentioning the number and my name would work?

  • Reply Adam 20/11/2019 at 17:52

    Hello, I owe money (525 euros, long story but did not pay for 2 years) they sent me a letter with a letter attached to fill out bank info etc. I want to send the owed funds via online transfer, if I enter my Kunden Referenznummer is that ok? Sounds a stupid question but Germany is old school still with online payments. Many thanks!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 25/11/2019 at 12:39

      Hey Adam. If you mean by bank transfer to their bank account, then that’s not an issue no.

  • Reply Ishan 15/11/2019 at 09:11

    HAllo.Ich hab für 3 Monaten in einer Wohnung mit etwa 8 Leute gewohnt.Ein von uns hat regemaßig sein Radiobeitrag schon bezahlt.Soll ich immer noch meine Beitrag bezahlen?Wie kann ich eine Befreiung kriegen?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 25/11/2019 at 11:56

      Hey Ishan. It’s one fee per household, not per person. See their website to learn the conditions for a relief.

  • Reply mattia 13/11/2019 at 17:16

    Hi guys, i had my ammeldung in July but I didn’t reveice anything yet. Who can I contact?


    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/11/2019 at 15:33

      Hey Mattia. Follow the link to the Rundfunkbeitrag website in the post and use a contact form there.

    • Reply Stephania 10/01/2020 at 23:49

      Hi Mattia,

      Could you tell me, what did you do? I am in the same situation.

  • Reply Elsa 11/11/2019 at 21:38

    Hello, i have a problem. So i rent a room from the student who doesn’t pay this fee because she has a student loan.
    So why i should pay? She is the main rent person, I’m just under her?

  • Reply Lena 11/11/2019 at 14:21

    My problem is that I lived in shared flat and the tax was paid my my flatmate. Now, after 4 months I received the letters from ARD asking to pay..Now, I dont have contact with my flatmate anymore, so I dont know his beitragsnummer and dont know how to inform ARD about it..

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/11/2019 at 15:31

      Hey Lena. Sorry, can’t help you save that problem.

  • Reply Tessa 08/11/2019 at 17:14

    Hey! I am living in a community type situation just outside of Berlin. In the past the place had its own number but then about 3 years ago the owner who had registered the number moved to Berlin part time. His number moved with him and I guess no one thought of the place needing a new number until now when a bunch of us who are registered here started getting letters.
    We are all super happy to open a household account and contribute each per month but we thought it was covered the last 3 years so we are being asked to back pay I guess quite a lot from when the owners number transferred.
    Not sure how to go about this, as the place is a community with about 5 of us here full time and also like a kind of hostel used by many passing through…suggestions or advice welcome!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/11/2019 at 15:24

      Hey Tessa. Use the Anmeldung date of the first one of you 5 that moved into the place, and use this as a negotiation start to only pay from that date?

  • Reply Rhedia Tehrin Proma 03/11/2019 at 16:25

    Hello! Previously I was paying by sharing with my other flatmates. On of them had the account and I paid her the money. Now I have moved to new home where I am living with my husband. Should I apply for a new Beitragsnummer? If I apply so and start paying for my own will they claim the money for last one year?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/11/2019 at 09:46

      Well, this a question for your old flat mate isnt ? You get a new Beitragsnummer for yourself now.

  • Reply Anton 01/11/2019 at 16:41

    I was in Germany for 6 months last year as an international student and I was receiving these letters but I ignored them and never replied them. then I left after 6 months from my stay at the end of the year.
    Now, I have to go back to Germany as I got a job there and I will apply for a visa. Does the fact that I ignored them may get my visa rejected? I am very worried that I do not get the visa and lose this job opportunity because of this or I will get the visa and then after registration at the city, I may have a fine to pay.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/11/2019 at 09:27

      Hey Anton. Good question, i don’t know. Maybe try to search for the impact of an unpaid fine on visa application.

  • Reply Miguel 01/11/2019 at 16:23

    When you do not pay the radio tax for a while, and they want to take your case to the court (that is, take legal action on you not paying), is there any entity or person that might provide support on this matter for foreigners (people who don’t speak German)?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/11/2019 at 09:26

      Hey Miguel. Possibly, i would not know about that.

  • Reply Val 01/11/2019 at 15:37

    Hey Bastien,
    thank you for the explanation, I have a question.
    In my previous WG due to weird subletting situation and general non-care, no one ever paid for the ZDF, and they sent me a couple of letters asking me to pay the amount.
    Now I moved out and I sent them the paper stating that the person I’m living with is already paying for it.
    Will they still be after me for the debt related to my previous apartment? If so, what would you advice me to do? I don’t want to pay a sum intended for a whole flat that was shared by other three people!

    thank you for the attention 🙂

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/11/2019 at 09:25

      Hey Val. In short; i can’t tell you how the guys at Rundfunkbeitrag will process your case. Sorry. The best case for WGs is to clarifiy who pays what from the start.

  • Reply Ana Nizharadze 29/10/2019 at 15:51

    Hello. I am a foreigner student in Germany and I do not have a TV and radio in my room and accordingly do not use them. Why do I have to pay 18 euros for nothing?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/11/2019 at 09:15

      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Germany?

  • Reply Mary 18/10/2019 at 14:27

    Hi. What happens if i change address but on my old address i was the one paying for ard/zdf fee? If ever i change address, how am i going to do it that i will only have to pay for myself and not the other people on my old address?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 21/10/2019 at 21:49

      Hey Mary. that’s why you let them know you changed addresses.I’m not sure i understand the issue?

  • Reply Edward.j 14/10/2019 at 22:23

    Hey just wondering, living here in Germany on a work permit, non – EU and don’t speak Germany , is it possible to get a reduce fee and doesn’t seem fair if not using it ?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 15/10/2019 at 15:46

      Hey Edward. No unfortunately.

  • Reply Nour 01/10/2019 at 22:06


    Regarding the payment, they have several options but there is one that I don’t understand:

    Zahlungsrhythmus: gesetzlich in der Mitte eines Dreimonatszeitraums (zum 15.)

    Does this mean we pay every 1.5 months? and is that in advance or after they pass?

    Thank you

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 04/10/2019 at 10:01

      Hey Nour. This means in the middle of a quarter.

  • Reply Jimoh 25/09/2019 at 17:12

    Pls. Can i pay by transfering to their account? Where can I get the account number?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 26/09/2019 at 23:13

      Hey Jimoh. Yes you can, they give the account details to transfer them the money.

  • Reply Frank 16/09/2019 at 11:52

    Are there other ways to pay ARD Deutschlandradio fees instead of having them take money from the bank account? I don’t have bank account properly setup yet, so I need to use other methods. Is it possible to go to Deutsche Post and pay cash that way? Or will it be ok if I put cash in the envelope and mail it, which I think is more risky.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 17/09/2019 at 11:16

      Hey Frank. Only bank transfer is possible.

  • Reply Darrin 15/09/2019 at 13:24

    Hi there,

    – I owe x-amount EUR according to the letter (from 01.12.2018 to 15.08.2019)
    – I have input my banking details on their website today (15.09.2019) for direct debit so I will not hear from them again

    My question is how do I pay and settle the x-amount that I owe up until this day? Do they take what I owe directly from my bank now along with the amount for the new month? Or do I have to settle the outstanding amount separately and then they subtract the 17 EUR per month moving forward

    Please assist if anyone has info on how to do this


    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 17/09/2019 at 11:13

      Hey Darrin. If you have authorized them to take money from your account, they will probably take the outstanding amount themselves.

  • Reply Edo 12/09/2019 at 00:10

    Hello, i’ve been living in Germany for two months, as a foreign student on a work wisa. I have recently got a letter from them, but i did not reply. If i got the letter does it mean i have allready been registrated by them or what. I am leaving the country in a few days, so do i have to de registrate if i am regiatrated or what.I’ll might move to germany so don’t want to get in trouble when i come back. Thanks

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 17/09/2019 at 11:00

      Hey Edo. You can send them your Abmeldung Bescheinigung when you leave the country,

  • Reply mikhail 03/09/2019 at 12:36

    I’m working in 2 offices located in Berlin and Stuttgart and renting 2 apartnments accordignly.
    I have recieved 2 letters on both adresses. Do I need to pay both?
    Kind regards,

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/09/2019 at 15:40

      Hey Mikhail. Not necessarily, if one of those flats is registered as a “Nebenwohnung”. If that is the case, you’d only to pay for your main household. Use this form for this.

  • Reply Agathe Laurent 02/09/2019 at 19:37


    I am filling out the form for my new flat, and my boyfriend needs to register under my name to say I will be paying. In the form it’s asking for my Beitragsnummer (seem to be 9 characters long), but on the letter I can only find the Aktenzeichen, which is 10 characters long. Does that number work as the beitragsnummer too? If not why did I not get a Beitragsnummer…?

    This has been confusing me for the last week or so, and I cannot find any information online, so if you have an answer, that would be amazing. Thank you!

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 08/09/2019 at 15:35

      Hey Agathe. This is probably because you don’t have a Beitragsnummer yet? Is that right? If not, then leave that field empty.

    • Reply Vignesh Pavunraj 05/02/2020 at 22:20

      I am staying in Dresden as an exchange student from Sep 2019 to March 2020..i am ready to pay 122 euros but they have sent me letter for 10 months.. I don’t have any mode to mail them, pls send a way to contact them

  • Reply Michael Grisold 26/08/2019 at 14:44

    Hi I have missed the step to tell them that my housemate pays it, and have been paying it through her but still now have a 200 euro bill for my side, how do I tell them that I have been paying it and avoid paying what they are asking for?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 27/08/2019 at 09:24

      Hey Michael. As mentioned in the post, send them her Beitragsnummer and a proof you are living with her.

  • Reply Rahman 17/08/2019 at 16:57

    I received letter for to pay about €500.
    Can i pay this step by step?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 19/08/2019 at 09:55

      Hey Rahman. Get in touch with them directly to negotiate installments.

  • Reply Alex 18/07/2019 at 21:55

    Hi, thanks for the article. I’ve been living in my flat for about 5 years and I did my Anmeldung as soon as I moved in. Until very recently, I had NEVER received a letter from ARD. I have proof of the first letter they sent me asking my entry date in the apartment few months ago. They are now asking me for more than €900 for the last years. I think it’s quite unfair since it was not my mistake but they simply forgot me. I would have been fine paying the monthly amount but a chunk of €900 is painful. Do you know if I have the right to appeal?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 19/07/2019 at 14:19

      Hey Alex. This is going into legal territory now, so i would not give you bad advice. It’s best to ask a professional about this.

    • Reply Goran 13/08/2019 at 08:07

      The same happen to me. They simply didn’t send me any bills even though I am registered. As i don’t watch TV or listen to a radio or even speak German, this never came to my mind. When they found out that I exist, they hit me with a bill of more then 700,00. Criminals! I have paid, as this people are not humans, they exist to steal your money,

  • Reply Demet S 17/07/2019 at 14:03

    Hello, first of all, thank you so much for the information.
    I was an Erasmus Student for almost 1 year and I was paying my fee in 3 months always. On 01.07 they took 52 Euros from me. But, I will go back to my country on 26.07, so they took more money than they should. I want to take my money back, do you know what I need to do and also how many days does it take to get the money back? Because I want to close my bank account actually as soon as possible.
    Thank you so much.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 19/07/2019 at 14:11

      Hey Demet. The only thing i can think of is that you can send them your Abmeldung Bestätigung from the Standesamt when your are gone, and claim the money back for the time you weren’t in the country anymore.

  • Reply Manish 14/07/2019 at 14:28

    Hi There,
    We moved into a sublet apartment for 3 months about 3 weeks ago, and on friday we received the letter to pay the TV/Radio tax both in my name and in the name of my wife.
    Do we need to pay it if the main tenants are already paying it?
    If they are paying to which office should we reach out to?

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 16/07/2019 at 09:49

      Hey Manish. One person per household needs to pay it indeed. Get in touch with the main tenants to see what’s up. You don’t need to pay it if they do.

      • Reply Manish 23/07/2019 at 14:27

        Hi Bastien,
        Thanks for the reply. In case the main tenants are already paying, to which office should I reach out to let them know that it is already paid by the main tenants.


        • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/07/2019 at 20:45

          Hey Manish. Just use of their contact forms on the Rundfunkbeitrag website.

          • Manish 24/07/2019 at 14:08

            Ok, thank you.

          • Vivek 14/11/2019 at 11:59

            I also have the same concern. My roommate is paying and I need not pay.
            Which form should I use for the same?


  • Reply Sue 11/07/2019 at 15:38

    Hello, I suppose if you are an ID Card holder you are exempt from having to pay GEZ. At least all my ID Card Holding friends are all not paying. Sending in a copy of the ID Card would suffice?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/07/2019 at 21:55

      Hey Sue. I have no idea what you are talking about. This is flat-out wrong.

  • Reply Ed 01/07/2019 at 15:58

    Hi, thanks for this (and the fact you are still responding to new questions!)

    For a short period I signed the rental lease on a new property whilst still living at a previous property which was covered by the landlords license.

    I.e. I paid rent on two properties from mid-April, but did not take up residence in my new property until the 1st of May. Their claim is that I owe them money for April even though I was living in a flat covered by another license.

    …thinking a bit further your article does state every household has to pay regardless how many people live in it. But is it really a household if there is no one living in it?

    Many thanks

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 02/07/2019 at 22:43

      Hey Ed. You can get in touch with them on this page to clarify your situation. If no one is registered in the flat, then no fees can apply.

  • Reply Sabari 01/07/2019 at 14:28

    I live in Kamp-Lintfort. Every three months, 52 euros gets deducted from my account. I have left my earlier accommodation in February and for the new accommodation, it has been already paid by my roommate as it is a shared flat. But still, they are charging me. How do I contact them for this issue?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 02/07/2019 at 22:39

      Hey Sabari. You can use the contact forms available on this page.

  • Reply Jelena 27/06/2019 at 18:02

    Hi, thank you for this useful article.
    I have never received a Rundfunkbeitrag letter, and I’ve been living in Berlin for almost a year now. What should I do?
    Do I have to contact my rental agency, but it doesn’t make sense to me if Rundfunkbeitrag letter is addressed on me?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 28/06/2019 at 22:23

      Hey Jelena. You can either wait for the letter to arrive and pay a lump sum for the time in between, or get in touch with them proactively.

      • Reply Jelena Hadziomerovic 01/07/2019 at 21:45

        Many thanks, Bastien!

  • Reply Lynne 13/06/2019 at 16:34

    Hello I received a bill for 696 euros in my name for my place for the past two years. I rent from my friend who is the main person on the rental contract. He refuses to pay them so they have come after ne. I have no problem paying them every three months but not for the time when it was not my debt. Any suggestions? HELP (I only make about 500 a month!)

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 17/06/2019 at 10:38

      Hey Lynne. You can use your subtenant/rental contract start date to show that you were not living there during that whole time for example.

  • Reply Naghmeh Torabi 13/05/2019 at 10:00

    Hi there,

    I am a new student here and living in a student accommodation. I have registered my address two weeks ago. I am aware that I have to pay for a German TV tax. Considering I have not received any mail up to now, Should I wait for it?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 17/05/2019 at 14:11

      Hey Naghmeh. You can both wait or register right away proactively.

  • Reply matteo 18/04/2019 at 12:42

    Hello Bastien,

    can I ask something about the online procedure?

    For many people, especially from abroad, fill the form or the online form is not easy, because is in German language.

    Do you know where can I find some suggestions about it or info in Berlin? I translated all the online form, I probably make it but I don’t want make some mistake.



    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 22/04/2019 at 20:09

      Hey Matteo. Which form do you mean now? They have many ^^

  • Reply Eslam 18/04/2019 at 11:57

    I live in a shared flat and the landlord is paying for that, what actions do I need to take to prove it to the Tax Authorities?
    He told me to give them his name and telephone number, but I don’t even know how to contact them.
    Thanks 🙂

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 22/04/2019 at 20:08

      Hey Eslam. Why would you give this information to the Finanzamt?

  • Reply Madde 17/04/2019 at 17:45

    I am in a strange situation. I was living in a shared flat and with the owner and they said they are paying already so I ignored it. But I had to move from that place. Once I registered at the new address, I got started getting letters from them that I am due around 100 euros or something. I realised the previous owner had been lying. I don’t know what to do about that. But to make things more complex, I received another letter, only now I was due around 150 euros. I have been living in the new place for 2 and a half months now, I don’t understand why they are adding the amount to the previous balance since my new owner is paying for the current place. What can I do? I am a student and don’t speak German that well.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 18/04/2019 at 09:27

      Hey Madde. There is no other solution than to get in touch with them, i’m afraid. Maybe a German speaking friend would help you?

    • Reply Uday 23/04/2019 at 18:36

      Just send them a letter by post to their address in Köln, explaining them the facts . Your request will be accepted even in English. The postage stamp will not cost you more than 70 Euro Cents.
      In case need arises, make sure you are ready with written proofs in the previous and present rental contracts, about your landlords paying the charges.

  • Reply Amy 15/04/2019 at 21:15

    Hi there,
    I was wondering if you could tell me – when I move apartment and change my Anmeldung, does it automatically update the address for your Rundfunkbeitrag or do I need to do this separately? Many thanks.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 18/04/2019 at 09:57

      Hey Amy. You need to do this separately.

      • Reply Andy Clark 19/09/2019 at 07:24

        How does one go about updating their address for this? I am in a similar situation as Amy.

        • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 23/09/2019 at 16:23

          Hey Andy. Just use one of their contact forms. They have one dedicated to change contact details.

  • Reply Matthew Kendrick 08/04/2019 at 13:25

    Hello and thank you so much for the informative article!

    I’m living in a sublet flat. The main tenant informs me that he’s already paid the Rundfunkbeitrag, and he sent me his Beitragsnummer. Problem is that it has 14 digits, while on the form I have to fill out it says that it should be 9 numbers only. What he sent me looks like this: RE30X264970546. Did he give me the wrong code or should I just use the last 9 numbers of it?

    Kind regards,

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 09/04/2019 at 10:08

      Hey Matthew, the Beitragsnummer is 9 digit. Are you sure he gave you the right ref?

      • Reply Matt 09/04/2019 at 16:32

        Thanks for your reply! Yeah I was hoping that maybe the 9 last numbers of my 14 digit one could be what I’m looking for, but if noone has seen it in that format then he must have given me the wrong one. Hope I can get a hold of him before the payment deadline as he’s traveling, I’ve written to the GEZ too to ask.

    • Reply may 19/05/2019 at 14:23

      I think they seem to be able to trace you down when you move. I moved from one place to another and registered my new address.. not long after I received the TV tax letter to my new address which is already being paid for by my current housemate. So I have to now inform them that the house is already registered and being paid for which I have done online by filling in the form on “Questions about my contribution” and left them with my housemates Beitragsnummer. I hope that will work.

  • Reply Fred 27/03/2019 at 22:01

    Hi, I moved to Germany in the middle of the week but they charged the full fee of the first calendar month. Can I get some money back for my first calendar month

    • Reply Fred 27/03/2019 at 22:02

      sorry, a typo: …moved to Germany in the middle of a calendar month…

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 31/03/2019 at 20:15

      Hey Fred. Get in touch with them-

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