Malta Residency Programmes & Tax
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Malta Residency Programmes & Tax

on 10 November 2020

​Malta has always been a country with high employment rates and favourable residency and tax incentives for locals and foreigners alike. We have compiled a short list of the most common programmes currently in use.

Key Employee Initiative (KEI)

Recently, Identity Malta, has introduced a fast-track service to highly specialised third-country nationals employed in Malta. This initiative, the Key Employee Initiative (KEI), is intended to attract top expertise and skill in the financial services, remote gaming, aviation and TMC sectors. Even more so, this initiative enables operators in these sectors to attract and recruit the highest qualified, experienced professionals available globally. This scheme is applicable to managerial or highly-technical posts which require the relevant qualifications or adequate experience related to the job being offered. It is also extended to innovators involved in start-up projects which are specifically endorsed by the Malta Enterprise.

This programme has been initiated in order to facilitate the issuance of work and residence permits on a fast-track basis, for prospective key employees, which permits will be furnished in a relative short time from the date of submission on the application.

For eligibility of the Key Employee Initiative, applicants must meet the criteria hereunder:

An annual gross salary of at least €30,000 per annum;
In possession of certified copies of the relevant qualifications, warrants or the necessary work experience; and
Following a declaration by the employer stating that the applicant has the necessary credentials to perform the duties being assigned.

Malta Highly Qualified Persons (HQP)

Malta Highly Qualified Persons Tax Planning for High Income Earners

Malta introduced specific tax rules intended to attract top expertise and skills in the financial services, remote gaming and aviation sectors, to thus attract and recruit the highest qualified, experienced and senior professionals available globally. Senior employees filling positions with companies licensed by the MFSA (Malta Financial Services Authority), the MGA (Malta and Gaming Authority) or the Authority for Transport in Malta (TM), may avail from tax benefits pertaining to the Highly Qualified Persons Rules. Malta’s success in securing an increasing number and quality of hedge funds, managers, insurers and similarly regulated entities depends largely on the ability of such entities to attract and recruit highly qualified, experienced and senior professionals available globally. Such senior employees may opt to pay tax at the Flat Rate of 15% on employment income derived in respect of work or duties carried out in Malta (or in respect of any period spent outside Malta in connection with such work or duties).

Senior Positions specified in the Malta Highly Qualified Persons Rules:

Chief Executive Officer, Chief Risk Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Commercial Officer, Portfolio Manager, Chief Investment Officer, Senior Trader/Trader, Senior Analyst, Actuarial Professional, Chief Underwriting Officer, Chief Insurance Technical Officer, Odds Compiler Specialist, Head of Research and Development, Head of Marketing, Head of Investor Relations, Aviation Accountable Managers, Aviation Continuing, Airworthiness Inspectors, Aviation Flight Operations, Aviation Ground Operations Managers, Aviation Training Managers.

Paying Tax on Malta Source Employment Income

A senior employee would be entitled to opt to pay tax on Malta sourced employment income at the flat rate of 15% if the senior employee: is employed to fill a senior position and is in possession of professional qualifications or acceptable professional experience; is entitled to remuneration of at least €82,881 in terms of a contract of employment for the basis year 2017, as adjusted by the retail price index; is in receipt of stable and regular resources which are sufficient to maintain him/herself and his/her family members without recourse to domestic social assistance; resides in accommodation regarded as normal for a comparable family in Malta; is not domiciled in Malta; is in possession of a valid travel document; is in possession of adequate health insurance; does not benefit under alternative incentives available domestically in favour of investment services and insurance expatriate employees; is protected as an employee under applicable Maltese laws.

Malta Residence & Visa Permit (MRVP)

The MRV Programme is designed solely for third country nationals. Through the MRV Programme the applicant and his dependants may reside, settle or stay indefinitely in Malta. Beneficiaries may also travel within the Schengen area without the need of a visa.

An application with respect to the Malta Visa and Residence Programme must be submitted to Identity Malta by an Accredited Person. CSB Group is an Accredited Agent with Identity Malta and may thus assist, handle and submit MRV Programme applications on behalf of the applicant.

For more information, kindly visit the CSB Group website.

Global Residence Programme

This Programme grants applicants a special tax status, and is applicable to non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss nationals. The GRP enacted in 2013 has replaced the Residents Scheme Regulations, (PRP) and the High Net Worth Individuals Rules.

Through the GRP, non- EU/EEA/Swiss nationals taking up residency in Malta may benefit from a special and favourable tax status and treatment as follows:

  • Income arising outside of Malta which is received in Malta would be chargeable to tax in Malta at the flat rate of 15%;

  • Income arising in Malta and capital gains realised in Malta would be taxable in Malta at the higher rate of 35%;

  • No Malta tax would be chargeable on income arising outside Malta which is not received in Malta; and

  • No Malta tax would be chargeable on capital gains realised outside Malta even if these are received in Malta.

For more information, visit the CSB Group website.

Malta Individual Investor Programme

Prior to 2013, under Maltese Law, there were three ways by which Malta citizenship and Maltese Passports can be acquired, namely:

  • By Birth – People born in or outside Malta need to satisfy certain criteria for them to be eligible for Maltese citizenship, depending mainly on their date of birth;

  • By Registration – A person has the right to acquire citizenship upon application under the provisions of the Maltese Constitution; and

  • By Naturalisation – A person may acquire Maltese citizenship by naturalisation through the Maltese Citizenship Act which complements the provisions made under the Maltese Constitution.

In 2013, amendments were introduced to the Maltese Citizenship Act by the Government of Malta, thereby establishing the ‘Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta’ (IIP) as another way of acquiring Maltese citizenship. This Malta Investor Programme grants Maltese citizenship by naturalisation to foreign individuals and their families, by contributing to the economic development of Malta.

The Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme is the first EU approved citizenship Programme to be launched. Citizenship granted through this programme is valid for life and it is passed on to future generations by descent.

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