In a special session on 4 May 2017, the National Council adopted a motion concerning the repayment of unlawfully levied VAT on radio and television licence fees.

With the motion by Sylvia Flückiger-Bäni (15.3416) "Repayment of unlawfully levied VAT on radio and television licence fees", the Federal Council is requested to create the legal basis for paying back the unlawfully levied VAT on radio and television licence fees to consumers and companies. The motion refers to the decision of the Federal Supreme Court of 13 April 2015 (2C_882/2014) in which the Federal Supreme Court held that the radio and television reception fees levied annually by Billag AG are not subject to VAT (see the article by Philipp Kruse on swissblawg). The motion demands that the 2.5% VAT levied without legal basis since 2011 be refunded to the fee payers.

The Federal Council rejects the motion's demand for the creation of a legal basis for the repayment of the VAT already levied (amounting to around CHF 153 million) on reception fees.

Only recently, the Federal Administrative Court had ruled in two (not final) decisions that the value-added tax which had previously been wrongly levied must be refunded:

Without the legal basis demanded in the motion, the refund of VAT would have to be claimed separately from the fee payers.

In its special session on May 4, 2017, the National Council, as the first deliberating body, voted in favour of the motion and approved it by 147 votes to 23 with 18 abstentions (see also the article in the Handelszeitung of May 4, 2017).

The motion will now be submitted to the Council of States (second chamber), which is expected to decide on its adoption in the summer session.