BBC’s TV licence explained as fee evasion reaches new high

Figures show evasion of BBC TV licenses is on the rise, but could you get in legal trouble for not paying?

The BBC has been the UK’s leading source of fact and entertainment for over 100 years, and unlike private channels such as SKY, the broadcaster is owned by the UK government.

To fund the vast network of television, radio and news media, those who use services provided by the BBC pay an annual fee to help keep the organization afloat.

But with new figures showing a sharp rise in people not paying, we delves into the legality of the BBC TV license and explains exactly who needs to pay.

New figures outline scale of dodging BBC TV license fees

In a busy week for the BBC, the broadcaster has suffered yet another blow as it has been revealed that evasion rates are at a new high.

Estimates published by the UK Parliament show that tax evasion rate In 2021/22, it is believed to increase to 8.93%, meaning almost 9% of people who should have paid for a TV licence, did not do so, an increase of 1.35%.

You must pay a TV license fee if you watch live BBC programs on any device, including games consoles and mobile phones, or if you watch live or pre-recorded content on BBC iPlayer.

A full BBC TV license costs £159 a year in color or £53.50 in black and white. In 2021/22, licensing fees will account for around 71% of the BBC’s total revenue.

Is it a crime not to pay the BBC TV license fee?

Yes, it is a crime not to pay for a BBC TV license if you watch any live programs or watch or download anything from BBC iPlayer.

The TV Licensing Company uses a national database to detect unlicensed viewing and can send patrols to your premises – such visits carry fines of up to £1,000 in the UK mainland and £2,000 in Guernsey.

Photo by Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

Parliamentary findings suggest there will be 49,126 prosecutions and 45,380 convictions for license fee evasion in 2021, a figure reportedly sort crimes It is the third most convicted offense in the UK.

Are students and pensioners exempt from paying license fees?

While there are some exemptions to the rule, almost everyone who watches BBC TV pays a license fee.

For example, if a student watches live TV or uses iPlayer, the student is not exempt and will be required to pay the full fee.

Generally, pensioners are not exempt from paying either, but if you’re over 74 and receive a pension credit from the government, then you can apply for a free licence.

Parliamentary research has attributed the rise in license rates for over 75s to the “main driver” of increased tax evasion, as people in that age group will not have to pay license fees until June 2020.

Check TV Licensing Information Page More information on the BBC license fee rules.

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