You’ve got mail!
Unfortunately it’s not a letter from your grandmother or a postcard from your friend studying abroad, it’s a tax.
The DR Media License is a tax that everyone in Denmark who has a TV, radio, computer, tablet or smartphone with Internet access must pay. International students are not excluded.
The majority of the tax goes to DR the largest public service broadcaster in Denmark. The tax exists to help fund Danish media. This includes Danish radio and TV programs as well as funding for Films.
The tax is not small and for most international students, the 1238.50 DKK semi-annual fee was not part of their initial budget. For that price students could spend a weekend in Paris or could fly round trip to Stockholm 5 times. It’s obvious why many students turn a blind eye to it completely.
What do the Danes do?
It’s not only international students who are looking for a way out of paying the tax. A Danish Facebook page advocating for the tax to be abolished has over 22,000 likes.
Anna, a Danish student, says that she avoids the tax because it’s too expensive and she does not agree with the decisions DR makes regarding programming.
“I would not mind paying it because I use it a lot, but at the same time I don’t always agree on the choices DR makes. They should take a lot more risks! They have written off so many cool projects just because they are to afraid of not making enough money of it – projects which have gone out on their own and become really popular!”
She explains that some of her Danish friends have gone to extreme lengths to avoid the tax.
“Pretending to be a couple with their roommate to make it cheaper, or just hanging up the phone or slamming the door”
What to do?
Opinions are divided on how to handle the tax. Though ignoring it completely is tempting, it’s also illegal. The tax exists for a reason and even though the temporary nature of one’s stay in Denmark may seem enough to justify not paying it, it’s not.
In the end it’s up to you. No matter how you decide to handle it, know that there are consequences for avoiding it.