Spain to Apply 21% Value-Added Tax on Fund-Management Fees

Spain’s money managers must begin collecting a 21 percent value-added tax on the fees they charge investors, according to a ruling by the nation’s tax agency.

The loss of tax-exempt status sprang from a June decision by the European Court of Justice in a lawsuit concerning Deutsche Bank AG, according to a copy of the ruling obtained by Bloomberg News. While the ruling was expected, it wasn’t clear until today that it would not be retroactive to past years, said Luis Bravo, a partner for tax law at Cuatrecasas law firm in Madrid.

“This is a relief for the industry, because there was doubt about when it would become effective,” Bravo said in an interview. “Still, it gives fund managers based outside the European Union like those in Switzerland an advantage compared with Spanish fund fees, which generally are cheaper.”

The resolution by the Direccion General de Tributos, the tax agency under the Budget Ministry, was dated Jan. 2. That will be its effective date, Bravo said.

The document was drafted in response to questions from Spain’s Asociacion Espanola de Banca, the trade organization representing the country’s commercial banks, which as a group are its largest money managers.

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