VAT on Portfolio Management (Including Advisory) in Denmark

Andreas Kildegaard Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


With effect from 1 July 2013 the practice concerning VAT treatment on portfolio management in Denmark was changed as a result of the ruling by the European Court of Justice in C-44/11, Deutsche Bank. The VAT treatment on portfolio management (including advisory) is a complex area, thus the ruling has resulted in a series of binding rulings from the Danish Tax Authorities and Danish Tax Assessment Council. The judgements provides an overall framework for the national legislators on how the VAT-treatment on portfolio management and –advisory should be.
This thesis focusses on the Danish administrative praxis within the area of portfolio management (including advisory) and its alignment with the applicable law, as set out by the European Court of Justice. Six rulings from the European Court of Justice was analysed to deduce what the applicable law governing portfolio management (including advisory) is. The applicable law was compared to an analysis of six binding rulings from SKAT and the Danish Tax Assessment Council, which are all considered representative of the Danish treatment of portfolio management.
The VAT system in Denmark is governed by the same elements as the one governing the European VAT system. This is a result of Denmark’s membership of the European Union. It is a requirement that that national interpretation is consistent with EU law, and thus the wording of the national legislation is very similar to the wording in the Council Directive regarding VAT.
It is not possible to deduct from the analysis and comparison of the Danish administrative practice and the applicable law from the EU whether the Danish administrative practice is in agreement with the applicable law. However, it is concluded that the administrative practice in the cases where the circumstances are the same as the one in the Deutsche Bank ruling, is in line with applicable law. Nevertheless, it is questionable whether the practice in relation to portfolio advisory is managed correctly. As a result, I suggest that in the near future a question should be raised in the European Court of Justice concerning the treatment of portfolio management and –advisory looking at other circumstances than the one in the Deutsche Bank case.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages80