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Slovakia: EC investigation of tax on food retail sector

Slovakia: EC investigation of tax on food retail sector

The European Commission today announced it has opened an investigation into a tax on the food retail sector in Slovakia because of concerns that certain exemptions from the tax afford some retailers a selective advantage over their competitors, in breach of EU state aid rules.

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According to the EC release, the tax at issue applies to food retailers that operate in Slovakia.

  • The tax was effective 1 January 2019, with the first payment due by the end of April 2019.
  • Under the tax, food retailers are to pay a quarterly tax equal to 2.5% of their total turnover.
  • Food retailers would be fully or partially exempted from the payment of the tax if they satisfy one of several conditions concerning their size, geographic scope of operation in Slovakia, and type of activities.
  • Retailers that are members of trading alliances or franchises are not subject to the tax even if their combined turnover is comparable to that of the largest retailers.
  • The application of these tax exemptions results in only seven food retailers having to pay the tax—six of them owned by companies based in other EU Member States. The EC found the only Slovak-owned retailer subject to the tax would have a significant part of its turnover exempted.

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