You may well have heard of the infamous GIS representatives who turn up on doorstops and demand to know if you have a TV or radio inside. If so they will expect you pay for a license (around €19 – €25 a month, or €7 for just a radio). Having a computer doesn’t count (unless you are using a tuner card or stick to watch TV on it). But if you have a TV or radio then you have to register and pay ( it’s no use saying you don’t understand German and don’t watch any Austrian TV).
If you have already registered, you shouldn’t expect to receive a visit from the GIS, If not, and you do get a visit you do not have to let them into your home. The purpose of their visit is to find out whether you have a TV or radio. However if you refuse to give any information they can report you and you may receive an adminstrative fine up to €2,180.
If you never watch Austria TV, then there is the option to have the antenna removed from your TV – about €50 from your local TV repair shop. They will then give you an official letter which you can show to GIS to confirm you don’t have a TV capable of receiving broadcast channels. Another option is to buy a NOGIS TV (already without a tuner and antenna connection) but these tend to be expensive.
There are exemptions if you are on an low income, handicapped, on benefits etc. The Local also has a useful page on ‘What you should know about GIS‘
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