Our expert outlines an update to Ireland's VAT manual regarding the VAT treatment of portfolio management services following a review by Irish Tax and Customs ("Revenue").

Due to the decision of the CJEU in Deutsche Bank AG (Case C-44/11), portfolio management activity consisting of:

(i) analysing and monitoring the assets of client investors and

(ii) actually purchasing and selling securities

will be considered as single supply rather than several separate supplies and will be subject to VAT.

Prior to the decision of the CJEU it was accepted practice by the Revenue that each activity could be treated separately for VAT purposes provided there was a legal management services agreement in place and that:

(i) the separate elements were clearly identifiable in the services agreement;

(ii) the basis for apportionment of the fee was realistic, and

(iii) the activities in question were actually undertaken.

This treatment can no longer apply. We understand that the authority will not review past VAT periods and will not apply the rule retrospectively.

Portfolio managers should review their practice and only the fees which are charged strictly for the purchase or sale of shares or securities should be treated as exempt supply.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.