Recent Amendments to Maltese Tax Residence Programmes

The expansion of the financial and gaming industries as well as aviation services and assisted reproductive technology in Malta in recent years has shown a significant need for additional highly qualified workers. The introduction of the Highly Qualified Persons Rules has attracted qualified individuals to occupy eligible office with companies licensed and/or recognized by the Competent Authority regulating specific sectors.

Amendments have recently been introduced to the Highly Qualified Persons Rules, Qualifying Employment in Aviation (Personal Tax) and Qualifying Employment in Maritime Activities and the Servicing of Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Activities (Personal Tax); these amendments will have effect with respect to the year of assessment 2020 and subsequent years.

The amending Legal Notice has introduced the following amendments:

  • the definition of “business incentive laws” which included the Malta Enterprise Act and the Business Promotion Act has been deleted from all the above-mentioned subsidiary legislation; and
  • sub-rule 3 of Rule 3 which read “income shall not be construed to be income from a qualifying contract of employment if it is paid by the employer who has received a benefit or benefits under business incentive laws or arrangement in terms of the business incentive laws or is paid by a person who is related to the employer who has received a benefit or benefits under any business incentive laws or arrangement in terms of business incentive laws” has also been deleted.

As a result, the exclusion that previously applied to income paid by an employer who has received benefits under business incentives has been removed.

Article written by Dr Maria Attard.

For more information, please contact Dr Ivan Gatt on, Dr Cynthia Borg Barthet on and Dr Maria Attard on

This article is not intended to impart legal advice and readers are asked to seek verification of statements made before acting on them.