Highly Qualified Persons Rules

The Highly Qualified Persons Rules programme relates to employees who hold certain management, technical and executive positions engaged by licensed or recognised operators in Malta in the financial services, remote gaming and aviation sectors.

The applicant can be a national of any country.

General conditions

The applicant

  • should be in possession of sickness insurance;
  • should be in receipt of stable and regular resources which are sufficient to maintain himself and the members of his family;
  • should be in possession of a valid travel document.

Employment conditions

The applicant

  • should carry out his employment in Malta except for reasonable and related foreign travel and holiday time;
  • be protected as an employee under Maltese law;
  • should hold a qualifying employment contract;
  • should declare his emoluments for Malta income tax purposes;
  • should disclose income from an employer who is a relation;
  • should hold relevant qualifications or experience;
  • should hold an eligible office being one regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority, the Lottery & Gaming Authority or the Malta Transport Authority (in relation to employment with a company holding an aircraft Air Operator Certificate);
  • should be earning a salary, excluding fringe benefits, in Malta of at least €75,000 (2010) increased by Malta’s Retail Price Index annually. This would be €81,205 in 2014;
  • national insurance (social security) contributions must be paid in Malta if not paid elsewhere.

Exclusions

The applicant

  • should not be a beneficiary under the Income Tax Act as an Investment Services and Insurance Expatriate;
  • should not be domiciled in Malta;
  • should not have been holding employment in Malta for more than 2 years prior to 1 January 2010;
  • the employer or a relation to applicant should not be benefiting under the Business Promotion Act.

Property

The applicant should reside in accommodation that would be regarded as normal for a comparable person or family in Malta.

Term of benefit

European Economic Area nationals (EU member states, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and Swiss nationals can benefit from this programme for a maximum 5 years.
Non EEA and non Swiss nationals can benefit from this programme for a maximum of 4 years.
Both the above 4 and 5 years limits would be further reduced by the number of years that the applicant would have been employed in Malta prior to 1 January 2010. This latter period should not exceed 2 years.

Taxation

The applicant’s remuneration from his qualifying contract will be considered as the first part of his total income for tax purposes.
Taxation will be levied at  a final rate of 15% on a maximum value of annual remuneration and fringe benefits of €5,000,000.
The applicant cannot benefit from any reliefs or set-offs.
Should the amount of remuneration and fringe benefits exceed €5,000,000, the excess would be exempt from tax.
All other Malta source income will be taxed at a flat rate of 35%.

The above is only intended to highlight the main features of the programme and more detailed rules apply.
Please contact David Marinelli directly or contact us for further information or assistance.