Malta. The New A.C.I.T. Tax Regime

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1 Malta The New A.C.I.T. Tax Regime

2 Tax Reform The new Advance Corporation Income Tax (ACIT) Regime became operative on 1 st January Replaces the old International Trading Company regime Pressure brought to bear by EU via: State Aid Code of Conduct Group Over 3 years of negotiations with Code of Conduct Group and State Aid Malta decided to reform its tax regime

3 Tax Reform Old Regime Refunds out of company s tax paid on the International Trading Company s profits, but only to non-residents Restrictions on ITC s to trade outside Malta New Regime Refunds given in respect of all profits, i.e. Malta and Foreign Income Accounts profits. Refunds given to both residents and non-residents Imputation system, which has the EU s seal of approval. This system will leads to one of the lowest net tax rates in the EU.

4 Tax Reform New participation exemption regime whilst continuing to give 100% tax refunds in the case of participating holdings. Malta continues not to levy withholding tax on outbound dividends, interest and royalties. Flat rate foreign tax credit still available albeit with an additional condition to be satisfied. Full imputation system maintained with 100%; 6/7ths; 5/7ths; 2/3rds tax refunds.

5 Tax Refunds With effect from 1 st January 2007, a refund of 6/7ths of tax liability on all profits distributed from Malta Taxed account or Foreign Income Account is granted, provided that limited to 5/7th if distributed from profits consisting of passive interest or royalties and, no claim for any double tax relief (including FRFTC) has been made. If a claim for double tax relief has been made, then refund is limited to 2/3rds as under previous regime.

6 Tax Refunds Unless shareholders of companies formed prior to 1 st January 2007, and entitled to refunds, decide by extraordinary resolution to convert to the new system, then new system only applies to companies formed after 1 st January 2007, and in any event to profits generated after that date. Anti-avoidance provisions exist for companies carrying on the same business prior to 1 st January Refunds to take into account any foreign tax paid, provided that refund limited to Malta tax actually paid

7 International Trading Companies No new ITC s after 31 December 2006 Existing ITC s shall cease no later than 31 st December 2010 ITC s will be allowed only up until 31 st December 2014 to distribute any profits earned prior to 31 st December Shareholders of ITCs may decide by extraordinary resolution to convert to new system at earlier date.

8 Passive interest and royalties New definition passive interest or royalty income received which is not derived directly or indirectly from a trade or business and which have suffered tax at a rate which is less than 5%. Such income will be taxed in the normal way but will only result in a 5/7th refund when distributed Advance rulings on whether passive or not should be sought from Inland Revenue

9 Branches Tax refunds and tax accounting system extended to overseas companies having a branch in Malta: Audited accounts for the branch required No discrimination between a branch and a company for Maltese income tax purposes

10 Tax Accounts New tax accounts (in addition to FIA, MTA & UA) include Final Tax Account & Immovable Property Account Order of Allocation of tax profits for dividend purposes: 1. Final Tax Account (FTA) 2. Immovable Property Account (IPA) 3. Foreign Income Account (FIA) 4. Malta Taxed Account (MTA) 5. Untaxed Account (UA)

11 Tax Accounts - FTA Final Tax Account is to include any income which has been subject to final tax: Dividends and tax refunds under new system, profits derived from sale of immovable property taxed at 12% final capital gains tax of sales value, certain Business Promotion Act profits, etc. Any distributions from the FTA: do not carry tax credits, are not subject to tax, and do not need to be disclosed. Losses cannot be set-off against FTA profits

12 Tax Accounts - IPA Immoveable Property Account is for allocation of : those taxed profits determined according to a formula still to be prescribed the concept of economic rent is being introduced at law and any profits derived from immovable property where the 12% final capital gains was not opted for. Profit allocated to this account are not eligible for refund of tax when distributed to shareholders. Method of restricting tax leakage from large foreign owned firms in Malta.

13 Profits derived from immovable property Besides any profits/gains derived from alienation of immovable property or rights thereon, will include rents, premia, timeshare, notional rental income, construction and project management, tradesmen, provision of accommodation which is (or would have been) subject to VAT at 5%, property management services, disposal of shares in companies which principally own immovable property, other categories as may be prescribed by the CIR, and an allocation of profits for use of public goods provided by Government.

14 Anti Abuse Provisions For a participating holding acquired on or after 1 st January 2007 where more than 50% of the income of the non-resident company consists of passive interest or royalties and where such company is not resident in the EU or is not subject to foreign tax at a rate of at least 15%, two additional conditions for participating holding definition need to be satisfied: The holding by the Malta company must not be a portfolio investment, and The non-resident company or its passive income must not have been subject to any foreign tax at a rate of less than 5%. The CIR will issue a white list of accepted countries.

15 Shareholder registration In order to claim refunds, a shareholder must be registered with the CIR Registration must be effected not later than 270 days from initial registration of the company and not later date for submission of first tax return. Various information required in respect of each registered shareholder with special provisions enacted for nominee/trustee shareholders and also in cases of funds and companies with numerous shareholders.

16 Shareholder registration If resident shareholders register and become entitled to refunds, then effective tax rate will exceed 35%. Ultimate beneficiary needs to be both resident and domiciled for refund procedure not to be beneficial.

17 Miscellaneous Under new system, multiple layers (more than two) of Maltese companies do not preclude refund. Refund given to second tier. Distributions from one Malta company to another when ultimate beneficial owner is non-resident still allocated to same tax account in the recipient company. Interim dividends are deemed for tax refund purposes to have been paid on submission of tax return or on filing due date.

18 Miscellaneous Amendments to Companies Act have been made so that companies carrying on international business: Filing date moved to 18 months from year end, upon application on prescribed form. Tax settlement date linked to filing date. Provisional tax payments not required by companies with 18 month filing date. Participation exemption introduced at taxpayer s option with same anti-abuse provisions as for participating holdings

19 Malta Malta is a EU Commission sanctioned tax efficient location Advantage of forming part of the EU base in the EU Malta s competitive advantage lies in the following: HR Capital: Malta s main resource. Maltese workers are acknowledged to be hard-working, flexible, intelligent, adaptable, trainable and diligent. English & multi-lingual skills base: Malta has English as an official language.

20 Malta Innovative legislation design with which Malta has created two vibrant micro-economic sectors in the knowledge and services enterprises and one high-tech manufacturing industry. Agility in our smallness this facilitates immediate action in response to changing circumstances. Stability: Malta is well recognised as an international stable haven free from geo-political and social international threats.

21 Industry in Malta The government intends on addressing the following services: Education Services Health Care Services Back-Office Processing Outsourcing Financial Management Services Professional Services Creative Services Maritime Industry Aviation

22 Industry in Malta Targeted high value industry sectors: Pharmaceutical manufacturing and services ICT Sector Biotechnology and Bio-informatics Hi-tech manufacturing I-Gaming

23 Malta as a Financial Services Centre An attraction to a growing number of global and regional companies Companies such as Vodafone and BMW are active in Malta through their insurance captives Major banks, such as Barclays, using Malta for special purpose vehicles Malta is also attracting business related to hedge funds and insurance Malta is a fast growing and reputable financial services centre

24 Contact Us We can be reached at: D-Consulta Limited No 8, second Floor, Northfields Apartments, Mosta MST 9928, Malta, Europe T: F: M: E: W:

25 Thank You

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