Malta’s Tax System Explained
Despite the pastoral scenery surrounded by beaches and endless views of the ocean, Malta is very much a modern European economy.
That means a sophisticated tax system with a number of different tax regimes, which apply to foreigners, residents and citizens of Malta.
Sophistication can be a good thing (even if you’re not a tax advisor) because it allows the government to use taxes to have positive effects on your way of life. But the complexities of Malta’s tax code can get a bit frustrating at times.
Below is a straightforward and easy-to-understand guide to what you need to know to stay on the good side of Malta’s tax department. From double tax treaties to VAT to Malta’s inheritance tax, we’ll cover it all here. Continue reading “Malta’s Tax System Explained”
Guide to Malta’s Tax Rates
At first glance, Malta appears to have a tax system that is very similar to what you’d find in Western Europe, North America or other developed countries.
There are tax brackets in Malta and the top bracket pays 35% of their above-threshold income.
For our purposes, the most interesting aspect of the tax system are Malta’s tax rates on foreign residents of Malta.
In a nutshell, if you qualify for this status, you will only pay Maltese tax on the income you generate in Malta or on money you remit to Malta. That probably means you pay a lot less than 35%.
There are exceptions and other points to keep in mind. And there are situations where you might want to become a Maltese citizen and therefore become subject to Malta’s entire tax system.
This guide will lead you through the finer points of all those eventualities. We’ll cover everything Malta’s capital gains taxes to the tax rates in Malta for corporations
Is Malta a Tax Haven?
Malta has always been an outlier. Whether you look centuries back to the time when it was ruled by a Catholic order of knights or more recently as a British colony — it has done things differently.
The colonial history combined with a more recent desire to build a reputation as a financial center and establish a strong economy has led Malta to a very favorable tax regime. One that some people may call a tax haven.
But the current desire to integrate with the European community and avoid censure from American authorities has lead Malta to scale back on the tax allowances.
Still, government authorities say Malta’s tax code is its strongest card in a competitive world.
Is Malta a traditional tax-free jurisdiction in today’s world? Definitely not, it has some of the highest on-paper tax rates in the world. But there are some very attractive tax advantages in Malta and we’ll thoroughly outline them in this article.
Finding the Right Tax Advisor in Malta
Taxes are often a complicated part of life. Tax codes usually set out with clear intentions to incentivize certain choices. Time and competing interests can muddy these waters.
But this gets increasingly complicated as an expat or someone who has assets or income from abroad.
In Malta, there are a few residency schemes (with significant tax incentives) laid on top of a fairly straightforward tax system. So, even if locals don’t need a tax planner, you might to ease the process of relocating to Malta.
Some of Malta’s residency programs are only open to EU citizens (or citizens of EEA countries) and some are open to everyone. Professional advisors can help sort through these details.
As well, the list of countries who have signed a double-tax treaty with Malta continues to grow. That might mean that tax planning advice may be helpful if you’re sorting out what you owe to a former home country, or when investing and operating businesses abroad.
Below, you’ll find advice on the best of Malta’s tax advisors and a full guide to how they can help you soften the blow at tax time.