Saturday 7 January 2012

Low taxes for Malta Financial Services Executives

A welcome initiative of the Maltese government is the recent introduction of a lower tax rate of 15% chareable on income of Malta financial services executives in excess of Euro75,000 and exempting from Malta tax any income over the five million Euro threshhold.
Evidently, Malta is showing concrete signs of its commitment to its success story with the financial services industry.  Topping the already favourable regulatory framework and corporate tax regime enjoyed by the gaming industry in Malta, these recent initiatives seek to attract highly qualified financial services expatriates to relocate to Malta under employment with gaming companies licenced by the Malta Financial Services Authority.
The Highly Qualified Persons Rules 2011 apply as of fiscal year starting 1st January, 2010 and will benefit financial services specialists with technical, management and industry specific know-how that will be crucial to ensure Malta survival as a top financial services domicile.  My partners and I have had the exciting experience of witnessing the exponential growth and the privilege of assisting top regulated hedge fund managers, investment services firms, captive insurance operators, forex companies and banking institutions start up their operations in Malta in the last decade and I for one welcome this initiative with open arms given the ever increasing demand for candidates to fill top jobs opening regularly in the local financial services market market.

Amongst the high end financial services executive positions covered by these new personal tax rules are the CEO, CFO, COO, Chief Risk Office, Senior Analyst, Structuring Professional, Senior Trader/Trader., CTO, Head of Marketing, Head of Distribution Channels, Head of R&D.  These “eligible offices” must be held with companies authorised or recognised by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).

My team is currently handling of a number of applications for top management officials of leading gaming groups under these rules.  I have prepared an overview of the Malta tax guidelines for financial services executives under the Highly Qualified Persons Rules - Malta Top Financial Services Management on my law firm's website. These should answer your first questions as to whether you qualify. If still in doubt, please contact me and my team of Malta tax advisors at your convenience.

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti
International Tax & Immigration Lawyer
Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates

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