Income Tax payable by Permanent Residents
An expatriate may take up residence in Malta on obtaining a permit under Section 7 of the Immigration Act. The permit entitles the holder to a flat income tax rate of 15% subject to a minimum annual liability of €4,192 (after double taxation relief). The tax is calculated on income and capital gains arising in Malta and on foreign income (excluding capital gains) remitted to Malta.
The permit is issued on an indefinite basis and does not subject the holder to any minimum periods of presence in Malta.
Double Taxation Relief
Double taxation relief is available in respect of tax levied in the following countries on income remitted to Malta:
Albania, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Korea (Rep of), Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Montengro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Rep., Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA.
Eligibility and Conditions
Under the scheme, an individual applying for a residence permit must either: (a) own assets outside Malta worth at least €349,000 or (b) have an annual income of at least €23,000.
The applicant will be required to:
- purchase a residence in Malta at a cost of at least €116,000 for a house or €69,000 for a flat (plus a duty on documents and transfers of 5% which is also imposed on the acquisition) OR to rent/lease a residence in Malta at not less than €4,150 per annum. This condition must be satisfied within a period of one year from taking up residence in Malta with evidence in this respect being provided within the said time frame
- remit to Malta at least €13,950 per annum, plus €2,300 per annum per dependent (including the spouse). The minimum remittances must not be re-exported out of Malta
- not to engage in gainful occupation or any form of business activities in Malta unless duly authorised by the Office of the Prime Minister. This prohibition is extended also to involvement in political activities except for some exceptions in respect of local council activities
Any unspent residue of capital brought into Malta and any income therefrom accumulated during the resident's stay, as well as proceeds from the sale of the resident's dwelling and/or other investments, may be repatriated without restrictions.
The application form when completed and signed should be submitted to the Office of the Prime Minister together with the following documents:
- a certificate from the applicant's bankers showing an annual income of €23,000 (or equivalent) or a capital of €349,000 (or equivalent) and the ability to import into Malta a minimum annual income of €13,950 plus €2,300 for each dependant
- a Conduct Certificate from the Police Authorities nearest to the place of residence; if such certificates are not issued, then three character references will be required from any of: bankers, mayor, member of parliament, lawyer, accountant and family doctor. (British citizens/residents must submit a Subject Access Enquiry Certificate which is obtained from the Data Protection Officer, Police Headquarters)
- a copy of the applicant's birth certificate and marriage certificate, where applicable
- three photographs, passport type of each person whose name appears on the application form (spouse and dependants included)
- copy of passport
- a copy of either the deed of purchase or the lease/rent agreement if the applicant already owns or rents/leases property in Malta
Typically the issue of a residence permit takes around three months from the date of the application with a fee of €116.47 becoming payable once the permit is issued. The holder of a permit must take up residence within 12 months from the issue thereof.
Individuals born in Malta who are not nationals and who take up permanent residence in Malta will, if they so elect, qualify for the reduced flat tax rate of 15% (subject to a minimum of €2,325 per annum) provided they satisfy the eligibility requirements and conditions set out above for expatriates.
Individuals born in Malta who have been absent from Malta for at least 20 years in aggregate during the last 25 years prior to their return to Malta, will, if they so elect, also qualify for the same tax concession provided they remit to Malta annually at least €14,000 plus €2,400 for each dependent.
Returned migrants may engage in gainful occupation but any income derived therefrom will be taxed at standard rates (current maximum 35%).