Social security contributions
The employer and the employee are each required to pay social security contributions at the rate of 10% of the individual employee’s salary and at fixed rates of EUR 48.05 per week for annual salaries exceeding EUR 24,986, provided the employee has been born on or after 1 January 1962. These rates are generally revised upwards at the start of every calendar year.
Value-added tax (VAT)
Supplies of goods and services in Malta are subject to VAT at the standard rate of 18%, although certain reduced rates apply in respect of specific goods/services.
Taxable persons whose economic activity consists principally in supplies of services and whose annual turnover is not higher than EUR 20,000 are not required to charge VAT on their supplies, but they would still have a registration requirement (unless the services provided are exempt without credit supplies).
See the Other taxes section in the Corporate tax summary for more information.
Net wealth/worth taxes
There are no net wealth/worth taxes in Malta.
Inheritance, estate, and gift taxes
There are no inheritance, estate, or gift taxes in Malta.
Customs and excise duties
Other taxes imposed include customs and excise duties on certain goods. There is also a tax on air travel.
Stamp duty is applicable on certain documents and transfers, including transfers of immovable property and marketable securities (although certain exemptions may apply) and issues and renewals of insurance policies. Furthermore, in the event that the market value of shares held by a person is reduced following a change in the company's issued share capital or voting rights and the value shifts onto the other shareholders, the transferor would be deemed to have transferred the said value to the transferee(s), and such value shifting may be subject to a stamp duty liability (although certain exceptions/exemptions may apply). Stamp duty is also imposed on transmissions by death of immovable property situated in Malta and shares in Maltese companies. Certain exemptions from stamp duty may, however, apply in respect of such transmissions.
The stamp duty exemption on the acquisition of immovable property by first time buyers, in terms of which one may benefit from a saving of stamp duty, has been increased to the first €175,000 (from €150,000) and was extended to 31 December 2020.
Stamp duty is imposed inter alia on heirs upon inheritance of immovable property at a rate of 5% and of shares in a Maltese company / interest in a Maltese partnership (not being a “property company” or “property partnership”) at a rate of 2%.
The reduced rate of 3.5% on inherited immovable property being the residential property of the heirs shall now be applicable on the first €175,000 of the value of the immovable property.
In the case of the transfer by gratuitous title of (i) marketable securities owned by individuals and of (ii) commercial tenements (i.e. business property) that had been used in a family business for a minimum period of three years preceding the transfer, to the transferor’s spouse, descendants, and ascendants in the direct line and their spouses, or in the absence of descendants to such transferor’s siblings and their descendants, stamp duty chargeable is at a reduced rate of 1.5%.
This reduced rate applies to transfers by gratuitous title made prior to 1 January 2021. Once this reduced rate is applied, no other exemption or duty relief will apply to such transfers.
By virtue of a new legal notice, in the case of a transfer of immovable property, the transferor may, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, elect to opt out of the statutory 12% tax rate on the excess of the transfer value over the acquisition value of immovable property that was acquired by the transferor.
Subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, no duty is levied in the case of transfers of immovable property upon the devolution of a dwelling house to a surviving spouse; in the case of a transfer of immovable property upon death by a parent or legal guardian to a disabled individual; or in the case of a transfer of a dwelling house upon death by a parent to their descendants in the direct line.
In addition, in the case of a transfer of immovable property situated within an urban conservation area or scheduled by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, the stamp duty chargeable is at a reduced rate of 2.5%. Such reduced rate is subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions.
The reduced stamp duty rate of 2% on acquisitions of immovable property situated in Gozo was also extended.