On 1 January 2019, the standard public broadcasting fee was replaced with a personalised public service fee. The public service fee is to be paid by anyone who lives in Sweden, who is liable for taxation in Sweden and has reached the age of 18 on 1 January 2019. Some individuals who live abroad are also liable for the fee. You are to pay the fee regardless of whether you have a television, and the fee is directly levied with your tax.
The public service fee goes to public-service companies i.e. Sveriges Radio (SR), Sveriges Television (SVT) and the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company (UR). The public service fee replaced the standard public broadcasting fee paid to the former television-licensing body, Radiotjänst, on 1 January 2019. Read more about the fee at the Swedish Government website.
The public service fee is a maximum of SEK 1,347 per person per year. Those who have a taxable income of less than SEK 134,724 per year are only taxed at 1 per cent of their income. Taxable income is the income you earn from services rendered or business activities, after deductions. Taxable income includes, for example, salary, pension and sickness benefits, but not income from capital.
You do not receive any remittance form and thus do not need to make any payments – the fee is directly withdrawn through your taxes.
Taxable earned income 2019
Public service fee
Less than SEK 134,724
One per cent of income
More than SEK 134,724
SEK 1,347 per year
The fee is determined based on the income base amount, which is updated annually.
John turned 18 in October 2018. He is attending upper-secondary school and holds summer jobs at his mother’s company, where he earns SEK 20,000. After basic tax allowance, his taxable income is SEK 300. This means that he is liable for a public service fee of SEK 3, which corresponds to 1 per cent of his taxable income.
20,000 – 19,700 = 300
300 × 0.01 = 3
Birgitta has a pension of SEK 120,000 annually i.e. SEK 10,000 per month. After a basic tax allowance of SEK 69,300, her taxable income is SEK 50,700. This means that she is liable for a public service fee of SEK 507. This corresponds to 1 per cent of her taxable income.
120,000 – 69,300 = 50,700
50,700 × 0.01 = 507
Omar works as a teacher and earns SEK 360,000 annually i.e. SEK 30,000 per month. After a basic tax allowance of SEK 14,300, his taxable income is SEK 345,700.
360,000 – 14,300 = 345,700
Omar’s taxable income is higher than 134,724 and he thus pays the maximum fee, which is 1,347 SEK.
The following persons are liable for the public service fee:
You are liable for the fee even if you do not have any radio or television.
Hans lives in Denmark and is subject to unrestricted taxation in Sweden. He owns a forest property in Sweden and is taxed in Sweden for income through the property. This income is taxed as income from business operations. Consequently, Hans is liable for the public service fee in Sweden, since he is subject to unrestricted taxation, has a taxable earned income and reached the age of 18 years on 1 January 2019.
Individuals who do not have any taxable income earned income are not liable for any public service fee. For example, this applies to students who only receive student financing from the Swedish National Board of Student Aid (CSN) or to individuals who are living strictly on welfare.
The public service fee is not levied on individuals who are taxed pursuant to the Act on special income tax on non-residents (SINK). This is due to these individuals being subject to restricted taxation.
The fee applies solely to natural persons and is not levied for legal entities, such as a company.
Charlotte lives in Denmark and is subject to restricted taxation in Sweden. She has income from business activities for which she is taxed in Sweden. However, Charlotte is not liable for any public service fee in Sweden, since she is not subject to unrestricted taxation in Sweden.
You do not receive a remittance form for the public service fee. It is levied together with other taxes. The fee is included in the tax schedule used by employers to determine the correct amount of withholding tax to be paid to the Swedish Tax Agency. On your tax return, you can see the amount you are paying for this fee. The first tax return in which the fee is visible is the 2020 tax return i.e. the tax return for the 2019 income year. In the 2020 notice on final tax, you can see your final public service fee.
The Swedish Tax Agency transfers the fees to a special public service account at the National Debt Office every month. The account is managed by the Swedish Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency in a sealed system, separately from the other government budgets.
The public service fee is used to finance radio and television operations as a public service. It may not be used for other enterprises. The public-service companies comprise Sveriges Radio (SR), Sveriges Television (SVT) and the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company (UR).