Italy’s grey market plans get EC nod

The EC said the exemptions were a fair way in which to boost the regularisation of the country’s economy.

Rome has offered businesses in the country’s underground economy a range of discounts in tax and social security to persuade them to establish themselves legitimately.

These range from exemptions from paying a worker’s share of social security contributions to waiving tax debts and social security obligations. There is also a special low tax replacing ordinary income tax schemes, only applicable to the increase in taxable income declared in comparison with the preceding year.

Brussels has investigating the system to see whether it broke EU state aid rules – designed to stop businesses in one member state having unfair advantages.

It concluded that as the scheme offers concessions to all businesses in Italy whose identity is not known in advance, ‘they do not introduce any systematic discrimination’.

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