Money For Members

Deadline nears to opt out of paying Italy's TV licence fee

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
Deadline nears to opt out of paying Italy's TV licence fee
Italy charges all households a TV licensing fee automatically, but you may be able to opt out. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Italy's TV licensing fee is applied differently than in many other countries, and the opt-out system means many people can end up paying it unnecessarily.


If you're exempt from paying Italy's TV licensing fee (canone), you need to opt out - and you may need to remember to re-apply for the exemption every year.

The deadline for applying for a full one-year exemption for the coming year is coming up on Wednesday, January 31st, 2024.

The fee, which was reduced in this year's budget from 90 to 70 euros, is automatically added to each household’s electricity bill.

In most cases, it’ll show up as a seven-euro (previously nine-euro) monthly charge on electricity bills from January to October.

Who's exempt?

Three categories are exempt from payment of the fee, meaning that they can legally opt out of it:

  • People who don't own a television
  • TV owners aged over 75 with an annual household income of 8,000 euros or lower
  • TV owners who are foreign diplomats or foreign military personnel 


There is often confusion about which devices are subject to the charge - does it apply only to traditional television sets or also to laptops and other devices?

What you need to know is that computers with a normal internet connection are not subject to the charge unless they are specially fitted with TV tuners or cable boxes.

Find out more about who can claim these exemptions in a separate article here.

How do I opt out?

In order to claim any of these exemptions, you must complete and submit the corresponding form from Italy’s tax agency (Agenzia delle Entrate), which can be downloaded from their website.

For people aged over 75 and foreign diplomats or military personnel, the opt-out process is pretty much the same as that for those who don’t own a TV, save for one major difference: these exemptions don’t have to be renewed annually.

See more details about how to claim your exemption in a separate article here.


What happens if I don’t pay?

Those who fail to pay the TV licence fee (and have no valid exemptions) could face a fine of up to €516, as well as being liable for the payment of up to ten years’ worth of unpaid fees.

The higher fine will apply if you've submitted an exemption form claiming not to own a television when you actually do.

For more details about paying the canone, see the Agenzie delle Entrate website.


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