Italy: EC determines corporate tax exemption for ports must be repealed

Italy: EC determines corporate tax exemption for ports

Italy must repeal corporate tax exemptions granted to its ports, in order to align its tax regime with EU state aid rules, according to today’s decision of the European Commission.

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The EC has determined that profits earned by port authorities from economic activities must be taxed under normal national corporate tax laws to avoid distortions of competition. Today's decision results from the EC's inquiries into the taxation of ports in EU Member States.

As explained by an EC release, port authorities in Italy are fully exempt from corporate income tax. In January 2019, the EU invited Italy to adapt its legislation so that ports would pay corporate tax on profits from economic activities in the same way as other companies in Italy, in line with EU State aid rules. The EC in November 2019 then opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether or not its initial concerns as regards the compatibility of the tax exemptions for Italian ports with EU state aid rules were confirmed.

The EC has concluded its assessment, and determined that the corporate tax exemption granted to Italian ports provides them with a selective advantage, in breach of EU state aid rules.

Italy now has to take the necessary steps to remove the tax exemption so that beginning January 2022, all ports are subject to the same corporate taxation rules as other companies. 

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