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Residing and Investing in Malta

WDM - Intro - Malta - Allan Payne

Malta holds a cornucopia of characteristics that make it one of the best possible jurisdictions to live in. Among the more prominent qualities of the Islands are the sublime weather, their charming atmosphere, the safe environment and multilingual population. International Living’s 2011 Quality of Life Index revealed Malta as having the best climate in the world. Other comments about the Islands include that it is the “easiest place to integrate” and having a “Great Quality of Life” (InternationalLiving.com 2014).  This coupled with Malta’s beneficial corporate and personal tax regimes make the Maltese jurisdiction nonpareil. The jurisdiction’s remittance basis of taxation which taxes an individual on income arising and/or remitted to Malta, when such individual would typically be a resident but non domiciled individual, as well as a number of targeted programs which afford a lower personal tax rate, position Malta as the ideal jurisdiction for residence planning and relocation.

In July 2013 the Maltese Government introduced the Global Residence Programme with the main aim of attracting wealthy and high profile individuals to our shores. This scheme is particularly appealing to non-EU nationals who are business people, pensioners, consultants and holders of intellectual property rights. The applicable rate of tax is set at 15% on foreign sourced income remitted to Malta, subject to the fulfilment of a number of criteria.

Furthermore recently via the introduction of the Individual Investor Programme, the Maltese Government has afforded high net worth persons and their families who are in a position to contribute to the economic development of Malta the possibility of being granted citizenship by naturalization, rendering Malta an ideal jurisdiction for citizenship and residence planning. An applicant under the programme is also entitled to apply for a Maltese Residence Permit, which grants Schengen access, prior to the attainment of citizenship.

From a business perspective, Malta is also well placed. Located at the centre of the Mediterranean, the islands are easily accessible from all locations. Moreover, with an English speaking work force, incentives attracting highly qualified professionals to its shores and superb infrastructure, there is hardly anything else to be desired.

Maltese tax legislation enshrines a number of measures which render the carrying out of genuine business activitiesall the more advantageous. By way of example, upon a dividend distribution, through a tax refund mechanism, the shareholders of a Malta company may claim substantial refunds of tax paid, at the level of the company. This makes Malta an ideal business hub.

The Maltese Islands have become synonymous with luxury lifestyle, wealth maximization and preservation, as well as high value asset management. Since the introduction of trusts in Malta, their popularity in the sphere of wealth management, estate and tax planning has been increasing at an impressive rate.

 Trusts afford an administrative bridge from one generation to another that helps ensure continuity of ownership and asset management in complex situations. They can be employed for a wide variety of purposes, including: asset protection, as a commercial tool or for testamentary usage. A trust therefore constitutes a flexible tool that a person can tailor to one’s needs. It affords management, control and certainty.Trusts are nowadays also widely used in commercial activities in the sphere of collective investment schemes and securitisation transactions.

In the field of high value assets being structured through and managed in Malta, the Islands boast the largest ship register in Europe, the 7th worldwide. This is testament to factors such as high quality and competitive rates with respect to registration and tonnage tax costs, no restrictions on the nationality of crew members, bareboat charter registration, and a 24/7 service in respect of urgent matters. The registration of super yachts is also on the increase given the wide range of services and facilities on offer, including state-of-the-art repair facilities, stunning natural harbours and marinas and many local and international operators.VAT mitigation opportunities in this sphere, render the regime all the more attractive.

Registering of Aircraft on the Malta register has likewise gained momentum following the enactment of novel legislation in this field. In a period of 4 years the number of registered aircraft has increased by 96%. The non-restrictive registration requirements, the protection offered to financiers and the acknowledgement of fractional ownership interests espoused with the possibility of using pertinent trust arrangements render Malta a popular location for the registration of aircraft.

Malta is also an ideal retirement location. The Malta Retirement Programme is designed to attract EU/EEA/Swiss pensioners who are not engaged in an employment relationship Individuals qualifying under this programme are eligible for a tax rate of 15% on any income received in Malta by themselves or their dependants.

 Your Partners: Our Assistance

WDM International is a multidisciplinary full service firm of professionals including lawyers and accountants, with a predominant international clientele. The firm’s services include international tax consultancy, immigration law advice, aircraft and yacht registration and asset protection solutions involving corporate vehicles, trusts and foundations.

Through WDM Trustees Limited, a company duly licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority under the Trusts and Trustees Act, we can provide professional trustee and co-trustee services, as well as administrator services in the context of private foundations.

WDM International, through Dr. Jonathan De Giovanni, Director of Legal and International Tax, has been approved as an accredited person by Identity Malta, the Agency responsible for Malta’s Citizenship by Investment Programme. To this end we may assist our clients with all the stages pertinent to their application for Citizenship under this programme.

 


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