Legal Notice 7 of 2017 has amended the Highly Qualified Persons Rules of 2011.
The Highly Qualified Persons Rules apply to qualified persons who occupy eligible offices within the financial services, gaming, and aviation sectors. Eligible individuals can benefit from a flat tax rate of 15% on income derived from such eligible offices, up to a maximum capped amount of five million Euros in income per year, with the excess income being tax exempt.
The tax benefit may be availed of by European Union, European Economic Area, and Swiss nationals for a period of five years, and by third country citizens for a period of four years, in both cases with the option to extend for a further consecutive period of five and four years respectively.
By virtue of Legal Notice 7 of 2017, the Highly Qualified Persons Rules were amended so that such consecutive extensions may be applied for irrespective of whether the applicant has already, at the point of the extension application, availed himself of the tax benefit under the Highly Qualified Persons Rules. Previously, such extensions could only be applied for by persons who had already availed themselves of the tax benefit under the Rules.
The extensions are only open to applicants who were not resident in Malta before the 1st of January 2008, and the total benefit period cannot exceed a consecutive period of ten years starting from the year preceding the first year of assessment in which the applicant is first liable to tax under the Maltese Income Tax Act.
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