European Court of Justice Ruling in Wheels: The Exemption for Management of Special Investment Funds

In the Wheels case, the European Court of Justice held that the VAT exemption for the management of a special investment fund is not applicable to management services provided to a UK pension fund. The Court ruled that a UK-based defined benefit pension fund does not qualify as a special investment fund. In some EU countries this decision may have a significant impact for the asset management industry as management of a pension fund was regarded as a service which could benefit from the exemption. The Wheels case may also put application of the exemption under pressure for other funds.