TV licence: How to get the full £159 refund

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As the cost of living crisis continues, more and more people are looking for ways to save and one way could be to get a TV licence refund.  In the UK, television licences are required by law for households to watch programming as it is being broadcast live. Britons also need one if they download or watch BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer live, on catch-up or On Demand.

Currently, the cost of a coloured television licence is £159 and covers all devices in the household, while a black and white TV licence costs half that. 

Blind people can also receive a 50 percent discount on their bill. 

The annual fee is managed by TV Licensing, but the government is responsible for applying any discounts.

Britons can apply for a refund if they no longer need their TV licence anymore before its expiration date. 

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To apply for a refund, people will need to have at least one month remaining on their current TV license plan.

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

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.

Britons do not need to work out their own refund as the TV License website states that it is “quite complicated” however some could receive the full payback of £159. 

It then states that it “aims to process and issue the refund within 21 days of receiving the application.”

Before making the decision to apply for a refund, TV Licensing warns people to double-check that they will not be needing one. 

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On its website, it says: “Please check you won’t need your licence again before it expires.

“That means you won’t ever be watching TV live on any channel or service, or using BBC iPlayer.

“If we approve your refund, your licence will be cancelled automatically.”

As explained on the TV Licensing website people need a licence if they watch or record programmes on a TV as they are broadcast. 

This includes all channels such as Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV etc as well as all “+1” channels. 

People will also need one if they watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service on any device.

Examples of these include ITV Hub, All 4, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go.

This applies to any device or provider a person uses, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, or digital box.

However, people do not need a TV Licence if they are watching things on catchups that are not being shown live, although it is needed for watching BBC iPlayer.

If someone wanted to watch a boxset of their favourite show that is All 4 or on ITV Hub then they will not need a licence as it is not being broadcast live. 

This means that a person will not need to pay for a licence if they are watching something on Netflix, DisneyPlus, Britbox, or Youtube. 

Amazon Prime and Now TV can be included in this group however if a person watches something such as live sport, which is being broadcast through the site, then they will need to pay.

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