Malta: Malta | Government Budget 2019 Highlights "Fostering A Quality Culture"

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Relevant government budget 2019 measures:

Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) – increase of €2.33 per week commencing January 2019 – view 2019 COLA

Bonus and weekly allowance to remain fixed as in 2018 – view bonuses for March, June, September and December

No changes in the Malta resident status tax rates for 2019 – view 2019 resident status tax rates

No changes in indirect taxes

Employee vacation leave in 2019 is to increase by from 200 hours to 208 hours per annum, in compensation of public holidays falling on an employee's day of rest

Tax deductions shall be increased in 2019 by €300 for school fees paid to private independent schools and/or kindergarten centres (kindergarten – max €1,600; primary – €1,900; secondary – €2,600)

The schemes known as first-time buyers, second-time buyers, vacant property in urban conservation areas, property purchased in Gozo and refund of expenses on restored buildings are to be retained in 2019

Rent subsidy will be reformed and increased from €1,600 to €3,600 p.a. for single persons and from €2,000 to €5,000 p.a. for families with 2 or more children. While means testing on assets will be substituted by new benchmarks

Tax avoidance and evasion mechanisms shall be strengthened

The refund scheme on the VAT paid on the purchase price of a bicycle and electric bicycle shall remain in force

The refund scheme on the purchase of motorcycles, scooters and electric bicycles shall remain in force up to a limit of €400

Grants for bicycle racks shall be extended to Local Councils and private enterprises

No registration tax shall be charged on the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles in 2019

The grant scheme for vehicles that work with gas instead of petrol shall remain the same in 2019

Pensions will increase by €2.17 per week which when added to the COLA of €2.33 will result in an effective increase of €4.50 per week

Tax ceiling for pensioners will increase to €13,400

Pensioners aged 75 years and over shall retain the annual €300 grant on the condition that they live in their own home

Tax credit for third pillar pensions to increase to a maximum of €2,000 p.a. while the tax credit shall be calculated on 25% of the third pillar pension paid

Seed investment scheme and other incentives to be introduced for start-ups

Children allowance to increase for families earning less than €20,000 gross per annum (certain conditions apply)

Employees utilising the single tax rates and their income is of a part-time nature shall not be taxed if their income is higher than €9,100 but lower the minimum wage

Self-employed persons shall be able to apply for unemployment benefits not available in previous years

Married persons both of which suffer from chronic conditions shall benefit from an increase of €5.14 per week in the medical allowance

Non-taxable pensions shall increase in 2019 from €13,200 to €13,434

Service pensions shall increase in 2019 by €200 p.a.

New incentives shall be introduced to public sector employees such that they may chose to retire after the age of 65

Disability allowance shall increase from €140 to 150 per week in 2019

Children disability allowance shall be increased to €25 per week

Reverse osmosis equipment (or the like) purchased shall be eligible for a VAT refund up to a maximum of €70

VAT refund on wedding expenses shall be increased to €2,000

Electronic books, newspapers and other publications shall attract VAT at 5%

A refund on musical instruments purchased overseas shall be introduced

Transfers of company shares from parents to children shall have the duty on documents decreased from 5% to 1.5% up to December 2019

Ex-gratia payment on the VAT paid on new motor vehicles purchased in 2008 shall be returned

Affordable rental allowance means test to be removed. Eligibility shall on the gross family income including investment income and the established benchmark

New schemes shall be introduced on properties rented long-term at moderate prices

New schemes shall be introduced were government would pay the bank interest on property loans taken out by persons over 40 years of age for the purchase of their home (certain conditions would apply)

Eligibility of free tal-Linja Card: Persons of ages 16 to 20 and full-time students over the age of 14

The Malta Digital Innovation Authority shall be set-up to protect the interests of the consumer and the investor to complement the Blockchain legislation

In 2019 Gozitans working in Malta will be entitled to the Gozitan Works Subsidy

Private enterprises creating new employment in Gozo shall be entitled to a refund of 30% of the employees wage up to a maximum of €6,000 (certain conditions apply)

MATSEC and SEC examination fees shall be removed

VOs (voluntary organisations) whose income is not greater than €10,000 shall be exempt from tax

No increase in excise duty on cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol

*To access the full document of the Budget 2019 please click here.

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.

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