Money For Members

Reader question: What happens if I don't pay the new ORF fee in Austria?

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Reader question: What happens if I don't pay the new ORF fee in Austria?
ORF has changed the way it collects contributions from Austria. Photo: Pexels/Cottonbro Studios

People in Austria have a new fee to pay for this year, the ORF-Beitrag, or ORF contribution, which replaces the previous GIS fee and is now mandatory for all households. So, what happens if you don't pay for it?


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.

From 2024 onward, though, every primary residence and business in Austria must pay the fee, which will be collected by the rebranded "ORF-Beitrag Service" company. The basis for the payment is €15.30, so people in Austria will have to disburse at least €183.60 yearly whether they consume ORF content or not. 

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This has led to several complaints, particularly on social media, from people who previously did not pay the fee. Besides the exemptions that are still valid today (such as for low-income people), those who didn't own a TV or radio also did not have to pay the GIS. 

Those who didn't pay GIS before and did not sign up for the ORF Beitrag by January 1st have received letters reminding them of their payment dues and deadlines. The official website does not contain information on what will happen if people do not pay the fee - and do not apply for one of the exemptions.

However, the head of ORF, Roland Weissmann, had said, "I am sure that Austrians are law-abiding. This is a law that we all enforce". 


'Dunning procedures'

All new fee payers have received advance notice since earlier this month. Those who do not pay are "subject to the normal reminder procedure", the ORF-Beitrag Head of Legal Affairs Doris Vogelsinger said, according to a Der Standard report.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about registering for Austria's new ORF tax

Even then, there is still the opportunity to pay the fee. Dunning proceedings are not expected until "well into 2024", the company representatives said, and they expect further proceedings would be needed only in "individual cases".

You can register to pay the ORF-Beitrag if you didn't pay GIS before and it is not part of the exemptions, HERE.


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