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EU requests Italy to abolish the corporate tax exemptions in its ports

EU requests Italy to abolish the corporate tax exemptions in its ports

In order to conform its tax regime with the EU State aid laws, the European Commission asked Italy to abolish corporate tax exemptions given to its ports.

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"EU competition rules recognise the relevance of ports for economic growth and regional development, allowing Member States to invest in them. At the same time, to preserve competition, the commission needs to ensure that, if port authorities generate profits from economic activities, they are taxed in the same way as other companies,” stated Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy.

In order to prevent distortions of competition, the income received by port authorities from commercial activities must as stated, be taxed under standard national corporate tax laws. The Italian port authorities, however have been fully exempted from corporate income tax.

The new decision stems from investigations by the Commission into the taxation of ports in the Member States.

In January 2019, the Commission invited Italy to change its legislation to ensure that ports, in compliance with EU State aid laws, can pay corporate tax on income resulting from economic activities in the same way as other companies in Italy.

In November of the same year, the Commission initiated an in-depth investigation to decide if its initial suspicions about the compatibility of tax exemptions for Italian ports with EU State aid laws had been confirmed or not.

Maritime Business World 

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