Malta has put in place tax policies that are competitive and attractive to business, while at the same time being EU compliant from all aspects of law. Tax rates vary from zero to a maximum of 10%. For more detail about the way tax is chargeable, please go to our VAT and Taxation pages.
Until the 1st January 2007, Malta used to allow the incorporation of International Holding Companies and International Trading Companies, both of which were very attractive because of the generous refunds of tax allowed to the non-resident shareholders. These companies will remain in existence until the 31st December 2010 and it is no longer possible to incorporate them today. This follows on pressure from the European Union for Malta to end the tax discrimination between resident and non-resident shareholders of Maltese companies.
After an agreement reached with the EU, from 1st January 2007 Malta has amended the Income Tax Act to create what is today known as the Malta Company, while keeping in place the full-imputation system of corporate taxation which ensures that these companies are still the most tax-advantageous corporate structures within the European Union.
A Malta Company is a normal onshore Maltese company registered in Malta, which is allowed to carry on any kind of activity, be it trading, holding, investments or whatever. The company can also mix the nature of its business and is not limited in any way. A Malta Company, is a normal onshore company which files annual audited accounts. This makes it unlikely that foreign tax authorities will consider the company to be a tax avoidance structure. This advantage is increased by the use of the company’s Maltese bank account and having the company’s administration centred in Malta through the use of our back office administration services. These companies are supervised and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), which was set up by Government, but is an autonomous body with a distinct legal personality.
Malta Companies are EU compliant since they are fully subject to the ordinary rates of corporate taxation in Malta and being EU compliant, Malta Companies are also within the EU VAT system. They will retain their tax advantages in relation to all shareholders (whether resident in Malta or not) and are therefore a most attractive corporate vehicle for carrying on business within the European Union.
Our subsidiary company, International Beneficiary Services Limited is a company licensed by MFSA to register and incorporate Malta Companies and it is also licensed to act as a nominee shareholder , fiduciary, trustee or nominee director in representation of the undisclosed beneficial owner. This is a very important advantage that the registration of a company in Malta offers because it guarantees the complete anonymity and complete confidentiality of the underlying beneficial owners.. International Beneficiary Services Ltd conducts a know-your-client investigation of the beneficial owner and beyond that, we are in no way obliged to disclose the identity of the beneficial owner.
A company can be registered usually within 48 hours of receiving all the necessary documents. Shareholders are normally two, though it is possible to have a single share holder. There must be at least one director whose nationality is irrelevant. Since all companies must have a registered office in Malta, your company can make use of our own legal address if you do not wish to have your own premises in Malta. Moreover all companies registered by us must have a local company secretary and our firm can provide this for you.
Company meetings need not be held locally and can also be conducted over the telephone.
Registration of every company must be renewed annually and audited accounts must be prepared annually. We can take care of both these requirements.
The director of a Malta company, under most circumstances will be given a Work Permit to be able to work as a director of the company while living in Malta. If the directors do not live in Malta, they need no permits.
We are also able to claim the tax refunds due to the company by the Inland Revenue Department on your behalf.
Finally, Malta Companies are EU compliant and have EU VAT numbers issued to them to facilitate their trading activities. Normally however, the management and control of the company must be exercised in Malta in order to acquire a VAT number from Malta.
We would however point out that before we can provide detailed legal or technical advice in relation to Malta Companies, we would require to be professionally retained. We would also like to point out that the above information is subject to correction or amendment at any moment since at the present date, the amendments to the Income Tax Act are still being discussed in Parliament. We are assured that the final text of the amendments will however faithfully reflect the information provided above.