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Radio and TV Tax for Second Computer in Mixed Area

On August 17, 2011 the BVerwG had to decide  in three different cases, if freelancers working and living on the same lot and having home and business computers (res 6 C 15.10, 45.10 and 20.11)  if both computers were subject or not to radio and TV tax – a.k.a. GEZ fees. multitasking


The plaintiffs are freelancers working from home with their PCs. In their home office they also access the Internet with their PCs.. In the privately used rooms, they have radio and / or TV. The GEZ also wants to collect fees for their professional PCs, while the plaintiffs refer to the regulation of free second devices.

The court boiled down the legal issue to the question: Can those computers held for business purposes be considered free second sets, if they are located on the same real estate with the first radio or TV stations? It was found that real estate is real estate. If you already have registered computers on your premises, you do not have to pay twice. It is irrelevant, if these apparatuses are used privately or for business.

The court considered the intention of the law was better respected with its decision. The purpose of the law is to privilege new kinds of media gadgets. First of all, they are often portable (notebooks, smartphones, tablets, etc.) and elude  a fixed allocation of certain properties. Also, such new gadgets – especially when for business – are not used for entertainment purposes, but as a tool for work.