Giuseppe D'Angelo

The tax-exempt status for religious entities performing social activities, in the light of the EU's state aid rules: problematic outcomes from the recent decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Religious Organizations; Non-Commercial and Non-Profit Entities; Social Utility Activities; Tax Exemptions; State Aid; European Commission; Court of Justice of European Union.

In 2010, the European Commission opened an in-depth inquiry on exemptions from the municipal real estate tax ("ICI") that Italy has granted to non-commercial entities performing specific activities. The Commission concluded that these exemptions were incompatible with the european rules on State aid but it has not ordered Italy to recover the aid from the beneficiaries because the Italian authorities have demonstrated that, in this specific case, recovery would be absolutely impossible. At the same time, the Commission found that the new italian law on the taxation of real estate, in which ICI has been replaced by IMU, is in line with EU state aid rules. The Court of Justice of the European Union has recently rejected the applications for the annulment of the decisions of the European Commission. The Author focuses on these decisions of the Court, particularly in the light of the possible evolution of the legal status of the religious entities which are interested to perform social activities such as non-commercial entities or non-profit organizations.

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