On the 12th of October, Malta’s Finance Minister presented the Budget for the year 2016. A few salient points will be highlighted below.
Fiscal Consolidation Proposal for Companies
Amongst the various measures proposed was a fiscal consolidation measure for companies. This proposal promises to be of great fiscal benefit to companies falling under the same group structure. Companies belonging to the same group will now be allowed to present one aggregated tax return as if they were, in reality, one company. This should serve to simplify the tax computation process.
Reduction of Company Fees
The Budget has proposed a reduction in the company registration fees when such registration is filed in electronic format. The fees were reduced significantly from €210 to €100 and apply to companies having an authorised share capital which does exceed €1,500. This reduction in fees is now reflected in the Companies Act (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations, Legal Notice 381 of 2015 which enters into force on the 1st of January 2016.
Assistance for New Start-ups
A new scheme for start-ups undertaken by the Malta Enterprise was also unveiled in the Budget. This will provide financial assistance to such companies through the granting of a sum that must be repaid over a period of ten years. This sum will be determined on the basis of the private equity that is invested in the company and can reach the amount of €200,000 or even €500,000 where the company is one that undertakes innovative business endeavours which lead to the production of new products, processes, or services which are of high standards.
Change in Co-Ownership Rules on inherited property
Changes to the co-ownership rules were announced which would facilitate the sale of property inherited by a number of heirs. While the 51% threshold as to the number of heirs which must be in agreement to sell has remained the same, it would now be sufficient if the property has been held in common by the co-owners for a period of not less than three years. This change comes into effect on the 1st of April 2016.
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