"Schon GEZahlt? ...for radio in Private Car of Self-Employed


When running your business, you only need to travel to work with your car but you otherwise use it only for private matters. Is this radio a GEZ free second appliance ("gebührenfreies Zweitgerät")? The VG Göttingen solved this problem on April 26, 2007 (re: 2 A 394/06).

The GEZ sued the owner of gynecology practice. She owns a car she needs her car only for private reasons and to travel to and from work. In her car, she has a radio. With notice of October 2, 2006, GEZ demands payment of the radio tax amounting to € 54,79 (initial fees of € 49.68 and default surcharge of € 5.11) for the period of September 2005 through May 2006.

The physician was of the opinion, that her radio was exempt because she uses her car exclusively for private purposes, to which the travels to and from work count. Since the car does not belong to her professional assets it is unlawful that she be treated differently as dependently employed persons.

The office considers that the journeys from home to work and vice versa are at least a partial professional use and the radio for this reason was not exempt. The liability for the radio is not subject to the actual use (professional or private) but to having it ready to be used ("bereithalten").

The court ruled the office's notice as invalid because it infringes the gynecologist's rights. The legal basis for the radio tax is the State Treaty on Radio and Television Fees (Rundfunkgebührenstaatsvertrag) of August 31, 1991. Generally, any person's second radio is exempt from this taxation as long as it is used exclusively for private reasons. In the reported case, the physician is using the radio in her car for private and not for other reasons. The GEZ cannot "automatically" assume that every professional uses his or her car for professional reasons.

However, this judgment only is valid for those are living in Göttingen and its county (Landkreis). The Administrative Court Regensburg has a differing opinion (judgment of August 23, 2005, re RO 3 K 05 434). Which court has precedence? Neither, as they are only the first instance. The ultimate decision rests with the Federal Administrative Court, as the highest court in administrative disputes.



Published on the old CMS: 2007/11/2
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 1,472 reads


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