Moscow [Russia], December 4 (ANI/Sputnik): The European Commission has ordered Italy to remove the corporate tax exemptions currently in force at the country's ports in order to abide by the bloc's rules on state aid, according to a press release published on Friday.
"The European Commission has required Italy to abolish the corporate tax exemptions granted to its ports, in order to align its tax regime with EU State aid rules. Profits earned by port authorities from economic activities must be taxed under normal national corporate tax laws to avoid distortions of competition," the press release read.
Italian port authorities have been exempt from paying corporate income tax on profits generated for decades, and the bloc has pushed Rome to remove these benefits since January 2019. The bloc's commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, said that the decision will help ensure the EU's so-called level playing field.
"Today's decision for Italy - as previously for the Netherlands, Belgium and France - makes clear that unjustified corporate tax exemptions for ports distort the level playing field and fair competition. They must be removed," Vestager said as quoted in the press release.
Italy now has until January 1, 2022 to remove the tax exemption benefits to comply with EU rules, the commission said.
The European Union's level playing field is defined as the set of common rules and procedures that prevent businesses in one country from undercutting their rivals in other countries. (ANI/Sputnik)