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European Commission accepts Italy's amended property tax

Earlier exemptions incorrect but too difficult to try to recover

19 December, 18:43
European Commission accepts Italy's amended property tax (ANSA) - Brussels, December 19 - The European Commission said Wednesday that it has accepted Italy's amended new property tax regulation, the IMU.

And although Italy's former system of real estate tax exemptions was incompatible with EU state aid rules, the Commission announced that Italy won't have to attempt the impossible task of recovering that money. Italy has said that it would impossible to try to recover all the money exempted between 2006 and 2011 under former tax law. "Non-profit organizations play an important social role, which is reflected in the Italian real estate tax regime," explained EC Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia. "However, when they operate on the same markets as commercial players, we need to make sure that they do not benefit from an undue advantage," he added. "The new Italian law on the taxation of real estate ensures that this is not the case".

Italy amended its property tax code in recent months after mounting pressure from the European Union, 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 holds that tax breaks received by the Catholic Church could be considered illegal State financial aid.