A number of efforts have been undertaken by the Government of Malta to assist various business enterprises currently experiencing financial strain owing to the COVID-19 instability, particularly those businesses involved in the tourism, hospitality, transport and manufacturing industries. To this effect, Prime Minister Robert Abela has introduced economic measures in the form of granting a two-month tax moratorium in relation to the the collection of specific taxes, including provisional tax, VAT and social security contributions. The said postponement of taxes applies vis-à-vis taxes owed by end of April 2020. Nevertheless, the relevant tax forms should still be submitted within the usual deadline periods.
Additional support measures introduced by the Government are aimed at assisting employers in facilitating their employees’ teleworking arrangements. The guidelines issued by the Malta Enterprise on the 16th of March 2020 under its Business Development and Continuity Scheme, invite undertakings of all sizes and sectors to invest in technology that enables teleworking arrangements. In this respect, a support cash grant shall be given of up to €500 per teleworking agreement and up to a maximum of €4,000 per undertaking, to all employers who incur eligible telework expenses pursuant to a telework agreement. The total support granted under this call shall be capped at €2 million.
The grant shall be awarded against 45% of the eligible costs which must be incurred between the 1st of March 2020 and the 30th of March 2020. The reimbursement of costs is eligible in terms of the following:
- a) Purchasing and/or leasing of computer hardware (included operating systems) which are considered portable including installation and setting up of connectivity software;
- b) Communication solutions (hardware and software) that allows different users to connect to their place of work (VPN, Point-to-point connection etc.)
The above-mentioned incentive may be availed of by submitting an application form which is to be accompanied by the following documents:
(1) Signed Teleworking Agreement commencing not earlier than 1st March 2020
(2) Declaration that no previous teleworking arrangement was in place in the last 12 months; and
(3) A short explanation on how the teleworking arrangement will function explaining how employees will have access to company data (ex. through VPN or Cloud Services).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.