Money For Members

Everything you need to know about Austria's new ORF/GIS TV fee

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Everything you need to know about Austria's new ORF/GIS TV fee
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Households in Austria will have to pay a new 'ORF contribution' to fund public TV and radio in the country starting in January. Here's what we know about the new tax.


Austrian parliament's approval of the new ORF law has created a mandatory ORF fee (or "contribution", as the government puts it) for all homes in the country - replacing the previous GIS fee to fund state media.

The controversial payment is due for all primary residences and businesses in the country. In comparison, the GIS fee had to be paid only by those with a television or radio device. Since many opted not to have a television (using streaming services instead), they could avoid the €20 to €30 monthly payment.

Why are the fees changing?

Austria is changing the laws after a 2022 Constitutional Court decision ruling that receiving TV programmes online and streaming them without paying GIS fees is “unconstitutional”, as The Local reported.

Consequently, the court asked the legislative powers (Austria’s National Council, Federal Council and Federal Assembly) to take action by “closing the streaming gap” by the end of 2023.

GIS was Austria’s TV and radio licence that can set people who have TV equipment at home back between €22.45 and €28.25, depending on the state, a month. Most of that money went to the public broadcaster ORF and pays for in-house productions, broadcasting equipment, technical equipment, licences and more.

Even people who don’t watch ORF programmes need to pay for GIS as long as they have a device capable of receiving the broadcast. However, those who don’t pay for it because they don’t have such devices can still stream the content online, which is what the court ruled unconstitutional.

Earlier this year, the Austrian government announced it would tackle the issue by removing the GIS payment and replace it with the "ORF contribution", set to be paid by almost everyone in the country.

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So, who will have to pay the new fee?

Every main residence and business in Austria must pay the fee, which will be collected by a rebranded "ORF-Beitrag Service" company (previously known as GIS GmbH).

The government assumes that, due to the changes, around 525,000 more households will be paying a fee to fund the public broadcaster - they also believe about 100,000 companies that have not paid GIS will have to pay ORF fees in the future.

It's important to note here that the fee is per household, not per person. So if you register at a place where someone is already paying the ORF fee and you get a request from ORF for payment, you typically just need to send them back the letter with the customer number of the person already paying the fee.

However, there are certain exemptions similar to the ones that already apply with GIS. Those who need "physical or financial assistance" are exempt. According to the Ministry of Finance, this applies to visual or hard-of-hearing people. Additionally, recipients of certain government benefits dedicated to lower-income households and those receiving study grants or AMS benefits are still exempt. 

READ ALSO: Who will have to pay Austria's TV and radio fee under new GIS rules?


How much will the payment be?

The basis for the payment is €15.30 per month, and the value will remain the same until 2026 at least. However, some Austrian provinces have added a state levy to the contribution, and others have not confirmed whether they'll keep a levy and how much it will cost.

Lower Austria said it would abolish provincial taxes, so households in the state will pay €15.30 a month. The same will apply to Upper Austria and Vorarlberg. The other provinces, including Vienna, have not confirmed how much their fees will be - though they are estimated not to be higher than €5.10 a month, which would total €20.40.


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