The Italian Supreme Court holds that a cooperative societies’ tax break should be qualified as a State aid because it involves a lower tax income into the public budget and refers the case to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling (Maricoltori Alto Adriatico)

Factual background Under Italian tax rules, cooperative societies benefit from significant tax exemptions. After an inspection of the Italian tax policy, the local tax office of Monfalcone decided that Mr. F.M.'s individual income tax return, for the years 1984, 1985 and 1986, was inaccurate. Mr. F.M. was a member of the cooperative “Maricoltori Alto Adriatico”. He sought to benefit from the cooperative's tax relief regime but, according to the Italian's policy control, he actually operated in the fish market as an individual entity. Mr. F.M. brought an action before the fiscal Commission of first instance, claiming that it was not possible to deny the validity of the cooperative's qualification without the obligatory Department for Work and Pensions' opinion (in the role of vigilance

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Gianluca Belotti, The Italian Supreme Court holds that a cooperative societies’ tax break should be qualified as a State aid because it involves a lower tax income into the public budget and refers the case to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling (Maricoltori Alto Adriatico), 17 February 2006, e-Competitions Bulletin February 2006, Art. N° 28522

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