Catholic Church Tight: ‘Blue Envelope’ of €100m in Additional Valuation | outside
The European Commission has ordered Italy to collect property taxes from non-profit organizations that are exempt from that tax. The Catholic Church has mainly benefited from this exception.
Italy must still collect property tax, from which non-profit organizations were exempted between 2006 and 2011, the European Commission believes. The decision follows a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2018 that said the exemption violated European competition rules and that Italy should collect the amount.
Six years ago, the European Commission had already established the violation, but then decided that Italy could refrain from collecting the taxes. Now Brussels still believes that the Italian government should turn to organizations to get this money. According to the calculations of the Italian tax authorities, this is about 100 million euros.
The biggest beneficiary of this exemption is the Catholic Church, which is one of the largest landlords in Italy, with around 5,000 buildings outside churches.
Arrears tax should not be paid on church buildings, but on buildings used for (semi) commercial activities, such as schools, hospitals, and inns. According to the European Commission, property tax exemption for these buildings is a distortion of competition and a disguised form of state aid.
How do you collect money?
The committee acknowledges that it is difficult to know exactly who received how much illegal aid from the state, but it has instructed Italy to collect “at least part” of the tax. The Italian tax authorities are now at a loss as to how to calculate the amounts. Agenzia delle Entrate is not known for its determination when it comes to fighting tax evasion.
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