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Netherlands Defends 'Unlawful' Port Tax Breaks

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

25 January 2016


The Dutch Cabinet has said that it is "disappointed" with the decision of the European Commission to strike down a corporate tax exemption for publicly owned seaports in the Netherlands.

On January 21, European Commission announced that Netherlands must abolish an exemption from corporate tax for its six seaports, to align the regime with EU state aid rules. It separately called on Belgium and France to align their tax regimes for ports with state aid rules.

The Commission concluded that this exemption also has to be abolished to remove the resulting distortions of competition. However, according to the Government of the Netherlands, despite the Commission's ruling, the competitive playing field with regards to sea ports in the EU remains uneven, and therefore "Dutch sea ports are put at a disadvantage."

"The Cabinet calls upon the European Commission to take balanced and structural measures as quickly as possible in order to reach fair competition between EU sea ports. The cabinet will continue to insist on this," a statement published by the Finance Ministry said.

TAGS: Finance | tax | marine | European Commission | Belgium | Netherlands | corporation tax | France | Europe

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