Amendment to the Highly Qualified Persons Rules
12 October, 2015
Legal Notice 225 of 2015 has amended the Highly Qualified Persons (HQP) Rules which were originally promulgated in 2010.
Under the HQP Rules, expatriates holding an eligible office under a qualifying contract of employment may opt to benefit from a reduced flat rate of tax of 15% on their employment income derived in respect of work or duties carried out in Malta.
An applicant must hold an eligible office with companies licensed and/or recognised by The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) or companies which fall within the remit of the Authority for Transport in Malta (TM), and the applicant's annual salary must be of at least €81,457 for basis year 2015 in order to qualify for the HQP Rules.
This Programme has been available to nationals of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland since 2010, and such nationals may benefit from the reduced rate of income tax for a consecutive period of five years, also known as qualified period.
The aforementioned legal notice has brought into effect amendments to the Highly Qualified Persons Rules, in particular, the qualified period for nationals of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland. Through these amendments such nationals, are eligible, upon application, for a one-time extension of five years to their qualifying period, subject to the continued adherence to the provisions of the HQP Rules. It is important to note that such extension shall not be made available to any person who has been residing in Malta prior to the 1st of January 2008.
Furthermore, the maximum qualifying period for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals undertaking the HQP Programme, shall not exceed ten years of assessment.
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