Spain: Tax-exemption for church-run schools and state aid rules

Spain: Tax-exemption for church-run schools

The Advocate General of the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) issued an opinion concluding that tax exemptions for church-run schools do not, as a rule, breach the EU prohibition on state aid.

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According to today’s CJEU release [PDF 109 KB], a tax exemption for the Catholic Church in Spain in respect of building work on a school building does not breach that prohibition when the church uses the building for compulsory education and is thus using it in pursuance of its social, cultural, and educational mission. However, the tax exemption does breach the state aid rules when the church uses the building for providing education on a commercial basis.

The case is: Congregación de Escuelas Pías Provincia Betania v. Ayuntamiento de Getafe (C-74/16)

The Advocate General’s opinion is not binding on the court. The judges now will begin their deliberations in this case with judgment to be given at a later date.

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