Malta companies may benefit from:
The unilateral relief mechanism creates a virtual double tax treaty between Malta and a large number of countries around the world which provides for a tax credit in cases where foreign tax has been suffered irrespective of whether Malta has a double tax treaty with such jurisdiction or not. To benefit from unilateral relief, a taxpayer must provide evidence to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that:
The foreign tax suffered will be compensated through in the form of credit against the tax chargeable in Malta on the gross chargeable income. The credit shall not exceed the total tax liability in Malta on the foreign sourced income.
OECD based Tax Treaty Network
To date, Malta has signed over 70 double tax treaties. Most treaties are based on the OECD model, including the treaties signed with other EU member states.
EU Parent and Subsidiary Directive
As an EU member state, Malta has adopted the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive which disposes of cross border transfer of dividends from subsidiary to parent companies within the EU.
Interest and Royalties Directive
The Interest and Royalties Directive exempts interest and royalty payments payable to a company in a member state from tax in the source member state.
Malta holding companies may be structured to hold shares in other companies and such participations in other companies qualify as participating holding. Holding Companies which meet either of the conditions mentioned below may benefit from this participating exemption based on participating holding rules both on dividends from such holdings and gains arising on the disposal of such holdings:
Participation exemption can also apply to holdings in other entities which could be a Maltese limited partnership, a non resident body of persons with similar characteristics, and even a collective investment vehicle where the liability of the investors is limited, as long as a holding satisfies the criteria for the exemption outlined below:
The above are the safe harbours set. In cases where the company in which the participating holding is held does not fall within one of the aforementioned safe harbours, the income which is derived therefore may nevertheless be exempt from tax in Malta if both the conditions below are satisfied:
Flat Rate Foreign Tax Credit
Companies which are receiving overseas income may benefit from the FRTC, provided that they provide an auditor’s certificate stating that the income arose overseas. The FRFTC mechanism assumes a foreign tax suffered of 25%. A 35% tax is imposed on the company’s net income grossed up by 25% FRFTC, with the 25% credit being applied against the Malta tax due.
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