For tax purposes, individuals are considered to be residents in Malta if they declare their intention to take a Maltese residency within 3 months of their arrival in Malta.
Notwithstanding this, an individual will automatically be considered as a resident in Malta if during a particular year he/she is present in Malta for more than six months in one calendar year.
Taxability of foreigners who take up residence in Malta
Foreign residents in Malta are:
- Taxed on income and capital gains arising in Malta; and
- Taxed on income arising outside of Malta that is remitted to Malta; and
- Not taxed on capital gains accrued outside of Malta, even if such gains are remitted to Malta.
Individuals who are subject to tax on a source and remittance basis (resident but not domiciled) have a minimum tax liability of €5,000. This minimum tax does not apply to individuals whose foreign income is less than €35,000.
Income tax rates applicable to Maltese residents are the following (2019):
Taxability of highly qualified persons
Individuals who occupy a senior position in a company that is licensed with the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), undertakings holding an air operators certificate or an aerodome license issued by Transport Malta, or the Office of the Chief Medical Officer to Government may qualify for a flat tax rate of 15% on their employment income, provided that the annual salary is at least €84,016 for basis year 2018, revised annually in accordance with the retail price index published by the National statistics office.
Other residency schemes
Individuals who take up residence in Malta and acquire property or rent property in Malta may apply for a special tax programme through which they will be subject to tax at 15% flat tax rate, yet subject to a minimum tax payment. The most commonly used programmes are: