Europäisches Beihilfenrecht Blog

State Aid Uncovered Blog/Guest State Aid Blog

On a weekly basis Phedon Nicolaides posts critical analysis pieces on the latest State aid judgments and decisions on his blog State Aid Uncovered. Each article presents the main points of a court ruling or Commission‘s decision, places them in the context of similar case law or practice, assesses the underlying reasoning, and identifies any inconsistencies or contradictions.
Occasional guest blog posts by other State aid experts complement the State aid knowledge hub.

Join the debate now!

- tax measures ×

Justification of a Tax Exemption

Prevention of excessive taxation may justify tax exemption. Prevention of abuse may justify limits to the tax exemption.   Introduction   A tax exemption may not constitute state aid if it is justified by reasons which are linked to the nature or general scheme of the tax system. This is what the Court of Justice said on 19 December 2018, […]

Tax Inseparably Linked to State Aid

Taxes which are inseparably linked with an aid measure are assessed together with the aid itself.  An increase of the budget of an aid scheme by more than 20% constitutes a change of existing aid that must be notified to the Commission for prior authorisation.   Introduction Taxpayers may not refuse to pay taxes on the grounds that the tax […]

Selectivity Can Exist at Different Levels: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease System

transport ship
A tax measure may be selective in relation to both intermediate and final beneficiaries.  An undertaking may enjoy a selective advantage even if it passes all tax benefits to other parties.   Introduction A measure that is not selective at one level may be selective at another level and a measure that is selective at one level can also be […]

Exemptions from Product-Specific Taxes

Tax exemptions do not constitute State aid when they aim to induce change in the behaviour of consumers, when they distinguish between harmful products and non-harmful products and for reasons of administrative simplicity.   Introduction   In the past two weeks, an article was published in two parts criticising the judgments of the Court of Justice in three cases of […]

5 most read articles by Phedon Nicolaides in 2016

Questions around selectivity of tax measures, the private creditor test, the new Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid and many more have moved and shaped this year’s judgments on State aid. See which articles by Prof. Phedon Nicolaides were the most popular ones in 2016. We have also started an exciting new journey of State aid videos on […]

Ever wondered how Lexxion Seminars are like? Read this Summary of „State Aid in Tax Measures“

Lexxion Seminar
The following is a summary of the main points that were presented and the issues that were discussed in the seminar on State Aid in Tax Measures that was held by Lexxion in Brussels on 7-8 November 2016. The summary has been prepared for information purposes only and it is not meant to be a precise record of the proceedings […]

Belgium’s Alternative Tax Regime for the Diamond Sector

Alternative tax regimes do not provide State aid as long as they raise the amount of tax paid and they are justified by the nature or general scheme of the normal system of taxation.   Introduction During the past three years, the Commission has been pursuing multinational companies that pay too little tax. Its main objection to the tax treatment […]

Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid: Part II – Advantage and Selectivity

This is the second article in a series of three that reviews the Commission’s Notice on the Notion of State Aid.* Last week’s article focused on the concepts of economic activity and state resources.** Next week’s article will conclude with a presentation of the conditions under which trade is affected and competition distorted and an analysis of the application of […]

How to Determine the Selectivity of a Tax Measure

A tax exception is normally a selective measure. However, exceptions which are open to all undertakings are not selective, even if they deviate from the standard tax rate or base. Exceptions which are open only to a few undertakings escape from being classified as selective only when the beneficiary undertakings are in a different legal or factual situation than non-beneficiaries. […]

Summary of Lexxion Seminar: State aid for Tax Measures on 26-27 October 2015, Brussels

Lexxion Seminar
The following is a summary of the main points that were presented and the issues that were discussed in the seminar on State aid in Tax Measures that was held in Brussels on 26-27 October 2015. The summary has been prepared for information purposes only and it is not meant to be a precise record of the proceedings of the […]

Tax Measures with Specific Objectives Can still Be General

A tax measure that applies to certain transactions is not selective if it does not preclude any company or type of asset. Conditions for the application of a tax measure may be justified by the logic of the tax system. The Commission may not use Article 107(3) to assess the compatibility with the internal market of a tax measure that […]

- tax measures ×

Justification of a Tax Exemption

Prevention of excessive taxation may justify tax exemption. Prevention of abuse may justify limits to the tax exemption.   Introduction   A tax exemption may not constitute state aid if it is justified by reasons which are linked to the nature or general scheme of the tax system. This is what the Court of Justice said on 19 December 2018, […]

Tax Inseparably Linked to State Aid

Taxes which are inseparably linked with an aid measure are assessed together with the aid itself.  An increase of the budget of an aid scheme by more than 20% constitutes a change of existing aid that must be notified to the Commission for prior authorisation.   Introduction Taxpayers may not refuse to pay taxes on the grounds that the tax […]

Selectivity Can Exist at Different Levels: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease System

transport ship
A tax measure may be selective in relation to both intermediate and final beneficiaries.  An undertaking may enjoy a selective advantage even if it passes all tax benefits to other parties.   Introduction A measure that is not selective at one level may be selective at another level and a measure that is selective at one level can also be […]

Exemptions from Product-Specific Taxes

Tax exemptions do not constitute State aid when they aim to induce change in the behaviour of consumers, when they distinguish between harmful products and non-harmful products and for reasons of administrative simplicity.   Introduction   In the past two weeks, an article was published in two parts criticising the judgments of the Court of Justice in three cases of […]

5 most read articles by Phedon Nicolaides in 2016

Questions around selectivity of tax measures, the private creditor test, the new Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid and many more have moved and shaped this year’s judgments on State aid. See which articles by Prof. Phedon Nicolaides were the most popular ones in 2016. We have also started an exciting new journey of State aid videos on […]

Ever wondered how Lexxion Seminars are like? Read this Summary of „State Aid in Tax Measures“

Lexxion Seminar
The following is a summary of the main points that were presented and the issues that were discussed in the seminar on State Aid in Tax Measures that was held by Lexxion in Brussels on 7-8 November 2016. The summary has been prepared for information purposes only and it is not meant to be a precise record of the proceedings […]

Belgium’s Alternative Tax Regime for the Diamond Sector

Alternative tax regimes do not provide State aid as long as they raise the amount of tax paid and they are justified by the nature or general scheme of the normal system of taxation.   Introduction During the past three years, the Commission has been pursuing multinational companies that pay too little tax. Its main objection to the tax treatment […]

Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid: Part II – Advantage and Selectivity

This is the second article in a series of three that reviews the Commission’s Notice on the Notion of State Aid.* Last week’s article focused on the concepts of economic activity and state resources.** Next week’s article will conclude with a presentation of the conditions under which trade is affected and competition distorted and an analysis of the application of […]

How to Determine the Selectivity of a Tax Measure

A tax exception is normally a selective measure. However, exceptions which are open to all undertakings are not selective, even if they deviate from the standard tax rate or base. Exceptions which are open only to a few undertakings escape from being classified as selective only when the beneficiary undertakings are in a different legal or factual situation than non-beneficiaries. […]

Summary of Lexxion Seminar: State aid for Tax Measures on 26-27 October 2015, Brussels

Lexxion Seminar
The following is a summary of the main points that were presented and the issues that were discussed in the seminar on State aid in Tax Measures that was held in Brussels on 26-27 October 2015. The summary has been prepared for information purposes only and it is not meant to be a precise record of the proceedings of the […]

Tax Measures with Specific Objectives Can still Be General

A tax measure that applies to certain transactions is not selective if it does not preclude any company or type of asset. Conditions for the application of a tax measure may be justified by the logic of the tax system. The Commission may not use Article 107(3) to assess the compatibility with the internal market of a tax measure that […]

- tax measures ×

Justification of a Tax Exemption

Prevention of excessive taxation may justify tax exemption. Prevention of abuse may justify limits to the tax exemption.   Introduction   A tax exemption may not constitute state aid if it is justified by reasons which are linked to the nature or general scheme of the tax system. This is what the Court of Justice said on 19 December 2018, […]

Tax Inseparably Linked to State Aid

Taxes which are inseparably linked with an aid measure are assessed together with the aid itself.  An increase of the budget of an aid scheme by more than 20% constitutes a change of existing aid that must be notified to the Commission for prior authorisation.   Introduction Taxpayers may not refuse to pay taxes on the grounds that the tax […]

Selectivity Can Exist at Different Levels: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease System

transport ship
A tax measure may be selective in relation to both intermediate and final beneficiaries.  An undertaking may enjoy a selective advantage even if it passes all tax benefits to other parties.   Introduction A measure that is not selective at one level may be selective at another level and a measure that is selective at one level can also be […]

Exemptions from Product-Specific Taxes

Tax exemptions do not constitute State aid when they aim to induce change in the behaviour of consumers, when they distinguish between harmful products and non-harmful products and for reasons of administrative simplicity.   Introduction   In the past two weeks, an article was published in two parts criticising the judgments of the Court of Justice in three cases of […]

5 most read articles by Phedon Nicolaides in 2016

Questions around selectivity of tax measures, the private creditor test, the new Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid and many more have moved and shaped this year’s judgments on State aid. See which articles by Prof. Phedon Nicolaides were the most popular ones in 2016. We have also started an exciting new journey of State aid videos on […]

Ever wondered how Lexxion Seminars are like? Read this Summary of „State Aid in Tax Measures“

Lexxion Seminar
The following is a summary of the main points that were presented and the issues that were discussed in the seminar on State Aid in Tax Measures that was held by Lexxion in Brussels on 7-8 November 2016. The summary has been prepared for information purposes only and it is not meant to be a precise record of the proceedings […]

Belgium’s Alternative Tax Regime for the Diamond Sector

Alternative tax regimes do not provide State aid as long as they raise the amount of tax paid and they are justified by the nature or general scheme of the normal system of taxation.   Introduction During the past three years, the Commission has been pursuing multinational companies that pay too little tax. Its main objection to the tax treatment […]

Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid: Part II – Advantage and Selectivity

This is the second article in a series of three that reviews the Commission’s Notice on the Notion of State Aid.* Last week’s article focused on the concepts of economic activity and state resources.** Next week’s article will conclude with a presentation of the conditions under which trade is affected and competition distorted and an analysis of the application of […]

How to Determine the Selectivity of a Tax Measure

A tax exception is normally a selective measure. However, exceptions which are open to all undertakings are not selective, even if they deviate from the standard tax rate or base. Exceptions which are open only to a few undertakings escape from being classified as selective only when the beneficiary undertakings are in a different legal or factual situation than non-beneficiaries. […]

Summary of Lexxion Seminar: State aid for Tax Measures on 26-27 October 2015, Brussels

Lexxion Seminar
The following is a summary of the main points that were presented and the issues that were discussed in the seminar on State aid in Tax Measures that was held in Brussels on 26-27 October 2015. The summary has been prepared for information purposes only and it is not meant to be a precise record of the proceedings of the […]

Tax Measures with Specific Objectives Can still Be General

A tax measure that applies to certain transactions is not selective if it does not preclude any company or type of asset. Conditions for the application of a tax measure may be justified by the logic of the tax system. The Commission may not use Article 107(3) to assess the compatibility with the internal market of a tax measure that […]

How to Submit a Blog Post

Do you want to share your analysis of a State aid law topic? We invite you to submit your post on, for example: recent European, national or international judgments or legislation with relevance to EU State aid law; new developments, publications, hot topics in EU State aid law. The recommended length of the post is 500-2,000 words incl. references (endnotes). Your analysis will be published under the category ‘Guest State Aid Blog’.

Here’s how you can publish a post on as a guest author:

Step 1: Submit your draft post as a Word file to stateaidhub[a]lexxion.eu.

Step 2: The StateAidHub team will review your draft to make sure its content and quality fit the blog. If needed, they will suggest what improvements you should make.

Step 3: Once your draft has been finalised and accepted, we will send you a link to register and log-in to the State aid blog as a guest author.

Step 4: Once you have logged-in to the blog, you can upload and publish your post.

Step 5: Enjoy the fame!

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