The Italian Almanac

tax free

Tax Free

The Catholic Church will not be charged the recently introduced IMU property tax, Italy's top administrative court ruled. The Council of State rejected a decree from the finance ministry that would have applied IMU to non-commercial activities including Church real estate. The issue of whether the Church should pay the same taxes as businesses on what many argue are really commercial activities has been a hot-button topic for years.

The decree was outside the finance ministry's lawful area of responsibility, the councillors concluded. "It is not within the ministry's remit to give general implementation of the new IMU exemption rules for the property of non-commercial organizations," the Council ruled.

The decision of the Council of State, which was established to ensure the legality of Italy's public administration, had been expected for some time. A formal response from the finance ministry is likely by the end of the year. The ruling will likely also apply to other non-profit organizations in the areas of health, culture, and sports.