TV Licence: Britons may be able to get a refund worth £159

BBC: Public share their views on TV licence fee

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In the UK, a person must have purchased a TV Licence in order to watch television shows as they are being broadcast live on TV on any channel. People will also need one if they are watching or streaming programmes live on an online TV service, or downloading or watching any BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer. A TV Licence costs £159 per year and only one TV Licence is needed per household. 


If someone has been found to have not bought one but is still watching then they could face a £1,000 fine from TV Licensing. 

However, in an age of streaming and subscription services, many are straying away from the classic format and as household budgets come under increasing financial pressure people are not wanting to spend money on something they do not essentially need. 

People will need to have a licence if they are watching live on online TV services such as Now TV, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Apple TV, ITV Hub or All 4.

So too will watching plus 1one, plus two, and plus 24 channels.

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A TV Licence will be needed if the programmes are being watched live on any device or provider a person uses, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, or digital box.

However, if someone only watches programmes on demand then they do not need a TV licence – but this does not include BBC iPlayer.

On-demand programmes refer to a service’s library of TV shows, boxsets or films. 

BBC iPlayer is the exception to the rule as any use of this service requires the need of a TV licence.

The TV licence fee was introduced so that viewers could support and fund the creation of a wide range of BBC programmes and services. 

On top of the BBC’s TV and radio programmes, it pays for podcasts, iPlayer, BBC World Service and apps. 

In 2021, fees collected by TV Licensing reached just over £3.8billion and accounted for three-quarters of the BBC’s funding.

If people believe that they do not need to purchase the TV licence anymore then they are able to request a refund and in some cases, they can receive the entire £159.

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However, they will need to do this before their TV licence expiration date.

In order to do this, they will need to have at least one month remaining on their current TV licence.

People can apply for a refund up to 14 days before the date they no longer need the TV licence.

People can apply for a refund up to 14 days before the date they no longer need the TV Licence.

Britons will then need to fill out a refund form which can be found on the TV License website.

The application will ask for the name on the TV licence, the licence number, a person’s address and postcode.

People will also need to include the date from when the licence is no longer needed.

The site does also contain guidance to help those struggling with the application forms.

If accepted, TV Licensing will work out the refund and will try to issue it within 21 days of receiving the application.

According to TV Licensing’s annual report for 2021-22, nearly two million households across the UK stopped paying the fee last year.

The report warned that the licence fee income could decline even more in the coming years as more people switch to streaming services.


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