In our previous update, we analysed two Advocate General opinions of the ECJ in the context of Irish legislative provisions which (i) allow an exemption from VAT for fund management services and (ii) permit holding companies to form part of a VAT group. Both cases have recently been ruled upon by the ECJ, with favourable outcomes for tax payers in each case.
In the GfBk case (Case C-275/11) the ECJ clarified that the exemption from VAT for investment management services provided to investment funds should extend to services which are purely advisory and to the provision of related information services. In another recent ECJ decision, European Commission v Ireland case (Case C 85/11), the ECJ confirmed that the Irish Revenue Commissioners' practice of allowing holding companies to become members of a VAT group and benefit from the ability to recover VAT incurred by the group as a whole is permissible. As expected, the ECJ decisions follow the previously released opinions of the Advocate General in both cases.