The fee for the possession of equipment suitable / adaptable to the reception of television radio hearings, still improperly known as “Rai license fee“, is certainly one of the most unpopular taxes for Italians, most of whom remain convinced that they are subsidizing the so-called” public television “exclusively through this gabelle.
In order to be able to use as a privileged source from which to draw additional funds to be allocated to the state coffers, in 2016 the then Prime Minister Matteo Renzi decided to insert the payment of the tax directly into the electricity bill, with the presumption that whoever is holder of an energy supply contract should therefore also own a television set.
The “Rai license fee” is charged in bill in bimonthly installments of 18 euros each, for a total of 90 euros per year, although there are some exceptions, obviously to be documented to the Revenue Agency. By means of a substitutive declaration, these categories can request exemption:
1)taxpayers with domestic users for residential use who declare that they do not have a suitable / adaptable device for receiving television radio hearings;
2) any heirs of a deceased taxpayer to whom the bills are still in the name and in the home of which there is no longer a device for the reception of these signals;
3) taxpayers over 75 with annual income (their own and that of their spouse) not exceeding 8 thousand euros who do not cohabit with other holders of their own income (with the exception of domestic collaborators such as housekeepers or carers);
4) diplomatic agents, consular officers and employees, officials of international organizations, military personnel of non-Italian citizenship and civilian personnel not resident in Italy and of non-Italian citizenship of the NATO forces.
In case of evasion of the tax, or of an exemption request that turns out to be irregular after a control by the financial police, you can risk a penalty of up to 6 times the total tax due (540 euros), as well as payment of all arrears with the addition of any interest. In the case of false declarations, however, there can also be indictment for the crime of false ideology, which can lead to up to 2 years in prison.
To prove that you are up to date with the payment of the ownership tax called “Rai fee”, exactly as it happens for other taxes, you must be in possession of the bulletins certifying the payment and show them in case of checks or disputes: by law, these documents must be kept as evidence at least until 5 years from the deadline.