Residency and Citizenship
Malta offers various attractive tax advantages for individuals wishing to take up residence in Malta.
This may be done in a variety of ways, ranging from ordinary residency, to registering under one of the various programmes available to the newly introduced International Investor Programme that provides for the granting of Maltese citizenship.
An individual who is resident and domiciled in Malta is generally liable to tax on a worldwide basis. A resident of Malta who is not domiciled is however taxable solely on income and certain capital gains arising in Malta, or income remitted to Malta, rather than on a worldwide basis.
A snapshot of the different residency schemes is provided in the following table:
Residence in Malta is normally measured in terms of physical presence, save for temporary absences that may be deemed reasonable. Any foreign citizen wishing to take up residency in Malta may do so by notifying the local authorities of their intention to stay, within 3 months from their date of arrival. Foreign individuals granted an employment license in Malta may also become tax residents in Malta and will be subject to the same taxation rules as any other Maltese resident.
Highly Qualified Persons Regulations
The scheme aims to attract highly qualified persons to occupy an eligible office with companies licensed and/or recognized by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), the Lotteries and Gaming Authority or companies holding an air operator's certificate. In the event a person qualifies under this scheme, employment income will be subject to tax at the advantageous flat rate of 15%.
Malta Retirement Programme
Malta offers a scheme for citizens of an EU Member State, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland wishing to retire to Malta. Income remitted to Malta, including pension income is taxable in Malta at the rate of 15%. The pension income must constitute at least 75% of the applicant's income taxable in Malta. A minimum tax of EUR7,500 is due and a qualifying property must be purchased or rented.
Global Residence Scheme
The GRP was introduced in 2013 to attract individuals who are not nationals of the EU, EEA or Switzerland and who are not long-term residents. Foreign source income remitted to Malta will be taxed at a flat rate of 15%. Malta source income is charged at the standard residency tax rates. A minimum tax of EUR15,000 is due annually and a qualifying property must be purchased or rented.
Introduced in 2014, the Residence Programme is aimed at EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who are not permanent residents. Foreign source income remitted to Malta will be taxed at a flat rate of 15%. Malta source income is charged at the standard residency tax rates. A minimum tax of EUR15,000 is due annually and a qualifying property must be purchased or rented.
Citizenship Through The IIP
The Individual Investor Programme (IIP) of the Republic of Malta, by virtue of Legal Notice 47 of 2014, allows for the granting of citizenship by a certificate of naturalisation to individuals and their families who contribute to the economic and social development of Malta. Subject to a stringent vetting and diligence process, including thorough background checks, the applicants and their dependents are granted citizenship in exchange for such contribution.
To qualify for citizenship, the main applicant must be at least 18 years of age, provide proof of residency in Malta for a period of 12 months preceding the issuing of a certificate of naturalisation and meet the following investment requirements:
- The acquisition of real estate with a minimum value of EUR 350,000 to be held for at least 5 years or Lease a residential immovable property in Malta for a period of 5 years, at an annual rent of at least EUR 16,000; and
- Make a contribution to the National Development and Social Fund of EUR 650,000 for the main applicant and additional contributions for dependents.
- An investment in stocks, bonds or special purpose vehicles to be identified by Identity Malta, for a minimum value of EUR 150,000 to be held for a minimum period of 5 years.
- Applicants must have Global Health Insurance coverage of at least EUR 50,000 for the main applicant and each of the dependents and must give proof that they can maintain the same for an indefinite period.
The EMCS International Group is a boutique professional services firm specialising in tax structuring and offering corporate, back office, accounting and trustee services amongst others.
We can assist with:
- Facilitating the application process for all residency and citizenship programmes.
- Outlining the Maltese tax implications relative to residency and/or citizenship in Malta and the effect on one's tax position
- Compilation and submission of annual tax return
- Provision of an extensive network of contacts for all ancillary requirements including liaising with government bodies and officials, corporate/business structuring and real estate acquisition
- EMCS International Services Ltd is licensed to act as authorised mandatory in terms of the Global Residence Programme, Residence Programme, Malta Retirement Programme and is also an Identity Malta Approved IIP Agent