Guidelines concerning the VAT exemption
On 22 March 2019, the State Secretary of Finance published guidelines which confirm that AIF’s – including AIF’s which are managed by a AIFM which is exempt from having to obtain a license – should be considered subject to governmental supervision and are thereby eligible for the VAT exemption.
The guidelines are a response to the Fiscale Eenheid X judgment of the European Court of Justice (9 December 2015, nr. C-595/13) , where the court ruled that in order to apply the VAT exemption for fund management, the fund in question must – among others – be subject to governmental supervision. Since the case concerned a period before the AIFMD was adopted, the question arose whether AIF’s – in particular smaller AIF’s which did not require a license to be managed – could be considered subject to governmental supervision.
The position taken in the guidelines is in line with the current Dutch practice in this respect and should therefore have a limited impact. A specific point worth mentioning is that the guidelines also confirm that AIF’s subject to the grandfathering regime should be considered subject to governmental supervision and thereby eligible for the VAT exemption.