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EU: EC decisions recommending taxation of ports in Italy and Spain

EU: Taxation of ports in Italy and Spain

The European Commission today announced it has requested that Italy and Spain align their taxation of ports with state aid rules.


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As noted in the EC release:

  • In Italy, ports are fully exempt from corporate income tax.
  • In Spain, ports are exempt from corporate income tax on their main sources of revenue, such as port fees or income from rental or concession contracts. In the Basque Country, ports are fully exempt from corporate tax.

In April 2018, the EC informed Italy and Spain of its concerns regarding their regimes for the taxation of ports. The EC’s preliminary view was that, in both Italy and Spain, the existing tax regimes provide the ports with a selective advantage that may breach EU state aid rules. Accordingly, the EC has “invited” Italy and Spain to adopt measures so that ports, as from 1 January 2020, will pay corporate tax in the same way as other companies in Italy and Spain. Each country now has two months to react.

The EC decisions today follow recent EC action requiring the Netherlands, Belgium and France to repeal exemptions from corporate tax for their ports.

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