Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018

EU reviews changes to Italy's tax breaks on Church property


Brussels, November 26 - Brussels on Monday was
reviewing Italy's new property-tax rules to see if they comply
with EU norms by curbing exemptions enjoyed by the Catholic
"We are studying the new measures," said a spokesperson for
Joaquin Almunia, competition commissioner.
Amid mounting pressure from the European Union, Italy's
economy ministry on Saturday changed the property-tax code by
lifting exemptions on all income-producing institutions such as
Catholic health facilities and Church-owned hotels.
The changes go into effect December 31.
The EU made its position known after Italy's highest
administrative court, the Council of State, scuppered a decree
by the Italian government intended to resolve the issue of the
Church not having to pay property tax, known as IMU.
In February, Italy's technocrat government, led by Premier
Mario Monti, formulated an amendment to Italian property-tax law
that would terminate the Catholic Church's historic exemption.
The amendment was intended to close an inquiry made by EU
antitrust authorities dating back to 2007, and reopened in 2010
after complaints filed by Maurizio Turco, a representative of
Italy's civil liberties-oriented Radical Party, and tax expert
Carlo Pontesilli, who turned to the European Court to prevent
the case from being closed.
The EU holds that tax breaks received by the Catholic
Church could be considered illegal State financial aid.

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