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Malta

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area - 316 km2

Population – 434 403 (2016)

Official Language – Maltese, English

REGISTRATION AND RESIDENCE PERMITS

All EU citizens have the right to reside in Malta on the basis of the right of movement and residence. This right is applicable to individuals who are working in Malta, as well as those not working there but who have sufficient financial support without relying on public funds. EU nationals do not require a visa to enter Malta. Together with their family members who are accompanying them, they are not obliged to apply for a residence document for a period of three months from their arrival in Malta. However, they are obliged to have in their possession a document of identification from their country, namely a passport or identity card.

The residence permit

The Immigration Act (Chapter 217 of the Laws of Malta) is the legal instrument that regulates the inward movement of foreigners into Malta.

If a European citizen wishes to remain in Malta for more than 3 months, they must be exercising their legal rights (studying, working or have sufficient means to live on) and apply for a residence card.

If a person wishes to remain here for more than three months and is not working, they are obliged to register their residence with the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs at Identity Malta. Normally, such requests are accepted if the person concerned proves that he/she is self-sufficient, among other conditions. The residence document issued to European citizens and their family members is valid for 5 years.

LOOKING FOR A JOB

Job seekers who have not yet arrived in Malta should contact the Malta EURES office who can offer personalised guidance on how and where to look for work.

If a job seeker is already in Malta, they should register with Malta’s Public Employment Service, Jobsplus at one of the Jobcentres (various localities are found on the Jobsplus website). Persons residing in Gozo need to register at the Jobsplus Office in Gozo. Jobsplus hosts the EURES services as well. Alternatively, they can access job opportunities through the Jobsplus webpage or the local EURES homepage. This site contains an online database of vacancies, which can be searched by industry, occupation and region. There is also a CV search facility which employers may use to search for job seekers. When a person registers with Jobplus as an unemployed person he/she is given personalised assistance in the form of an Employment Adviser.

Job vacancies are also advertised in trade magazines and local newspapers. A number of private employment agencies are also available, and a list of vacancies can be downloaded from the Links section of the Jobsplus website.

INCOME AND TAXATION

The standard Value Added Tax rate applicable to the purchase of most goods and services is 18%. Every 3 months, taxable persons registered for VAT and supplying intra-Community services from Malta are required to send the VAT Department in Malta a recapitulative statement showing the breakdown of all the exempt services supplied in the course of the previous calendar quarter. This statement should include the VAT numbers of customers from other Member States and the total value of intra-Community services supplied to each one. There is a monthly penalty for failure to submit this recapitulative statement on time.

The data obtained from the recapitulative statements in each of the EU Member States, including Malta, will be entered in the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) by all the Member States for checking purposes.

Taxable persons are considered as those who carry out an economic activity, whatever the purpose or the result of that activity. Exempt persons such as medical doctors or insurance companies, and persons operating below the established threshold for small undertakings, are also considered as taxable persons even though they are not obliged to charge and collect VAT.

Income Tax

The tax rates for an individual are 0%-35%. Tax rates for individuals increase progressively according to the applicable income band, that is, the higher the income, the higher the tax rate. Corporate tax is fixed at 35%. There are reduced rates or complete exemptions for companies with low earnings.

Residents pay tax on income whether they are wage earners or self-employed. A person who meets the criteria to be considered a permanent resident, usually one who is resident for more than 183 days a year, will be taxed on their income in Malta and overseas. A foreign resident who is employed in Malta pays tax only on the income they earn in Malta.

The law stipulates that an employer is obliged to deduct at source, each month, the amount of tax payable on a wage. Certain deductions from the taxable income of an individual are allowable for tax purposes. Maltese residents can opt for a withholding tax of 15% on bank deposits and on interests from bonds and stocks. A dividend paid by a Maltese registered company to its shareholders confers a tax credit on its shareholders that is the equivalent of the tax paid by the company on the profits representing the source of the dividend distributed.

Income tax rates

TAX RATES

SINGLE PERSON

Taxable Income  

Multiply by  

Deduction

0 – 9 100

0

0

9 101 – 14 500

0.15

1 365

14 501 – 19 500

0.25

2 815

19 501 – 60 000

0.25

2 725

60 001 or more

0.35

8 725

 

SPOUSES

Taxable Income   

Multiply by   

Deduction

0 – 12 700

0

0

12 701 – 21 200

0.15

1 905

21 201 – 28 700

0.25

4 025

28 701 – 60 000

0.25

3 905

60 001 or more

0.35

9 905

 

PARENT

Taxable Income

Multiply by

Deduction

0 – 10 500

0

0

10 501 – 15 800

0.15

1 575

15 801 – 21 200

0.25

3 155

21 201 – 60 000

0.25

3 050

60 001 or more

0.35

9 050

Persons not resident in Malta

As a general rule, a person employed but not residing in Malta and who spends a period of less than 183 days in Malta is taxed using non-resident rates (see the relevant rates below). However, if an individual proves to the satisfaction of the Commissioner for Revenue that their employment contract covers a period of more than 6 months over a 12-month period, they qualify to be taxed at normal rates (resident rates – see table above). This also applies if during the relevant year the period of employment was of less than 183 days.

Persons not resident in Malta from the European Union or the European Economic Area.

Individuals who are employed but not resident in Malta, originating from the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), and who earn more than 90% of their global income in Malta, qualify for the resident tax rates in accordance with the proviso to Article 56(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act.

However, when an individual who is employed but not resident in Malta, and who is a national of an EU or EEA country but who does not earn up to 90% of their global income from Malta, may choose to be taxed according to the more favourable tax calculation in accordance with Article 56(1)(c)(iv). For further information see the examples on page 8 of the Tax Return Help Booklet via the link below.

Tax rate for individuals not residing in Malta

For each euro on the first EUR 700

0 cents (0%)

For each euro on the next EUR 2 400

20 cents (20%)

For each euro on the next EUR 4 700  

30 cents (30%)

For each euro of the remainder

35 cents (35%)

INCOME AND COST OF LIVING

In Malta personal income is mainly derived from full-time or part-time employment and from self-employment in small businesses. Income can include salaries, pensions, leave allowance, unemployment benefits, educational support, etc.

Income from capital includes income from moveable and immovable property (including the rental value of owner-occupied dwellings), dividends, interest, and certain capital gains that are taxed as ordinary income.

Comparison of minimum wages per month (Eurostat February 2019)

Country

Minimum wage/month (EUR)

Bulgaria

 286

Romania

 446

Lithuania

 555

Latvia

430

Czech Republic

 519

Hungary

 464

Croatia

 506

Slovakia

 520

Poland

 523

Estonia

 540

   

Portugal

 700

Greece

 683 

Malta

 758

Slovenia

 887 

Spain

 1 050

United Kingdom

 1 453

France

 1 521

Germany

 1 557

Belgium

 1 594

The Netherlands

 1 616

Ireland

 1 656

Luxembourg (Grand Duchy)  

 2 071

Bonuses

The Government grants an annual cost of living wage increase for all full-time employees. Bonuses are payable to employees four times a year as follows:

March

€121.16

June

€135.10

September  

€121.16

December

€135.10

Text last edited on: 05/2019 on European Job Mobility Portal

COST OF LIVING

The cost of living in Malta has historically been lower than in most of the countries of central Europe. However, this situation is changing rapidly as the costs of housing, insurance and general products have risen considerably. Living standards in Malta are good and compare well with those of continental Europe. Life expectancy at birth and infant mortality rate are comparable to those of advanced European economies. Education, health and sanitation facilities are of a very high standard and available to all. International Living magazine’s 2011 Quality of Life Index ranks Malta in 2nd place behind the United States of America and ahead of EU Member States France, Belgium, Germany and Austria in the Top Ten. Indices for Malta are exceptionally high in terms of its leisure and culture, the environment, freedom, health, safety and security, and climate. Annual living costs in Malta are substantially lower than most of the developed European Countries. Safety and security are outstanding. Children can play outside in absolute safety, and all areas are safe to walk or drive around at night. And Malta’s freedom and climate rate is the highest of all in the survey! The following is a list of some items and their prices in Malta to give an idea of the cost of everyday living in Malta:

Restaurants

Average

Meal, inexpensive restaurant

EUR 12.00

Meal for two, mid-range restaurant, three courses  

EUR 50.00

Combo meal at McDonalds or similar

 EUR 8.00

Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught)

EUR 2.50

Imported beer (0.33 litre bottle)

 EUR 2.66

Cappuccino (regular)

 EUR 1.87

Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle)

 EUR 1.57

Water (0.33 litre bottle)

 EUR 1.03

Markets

Average

Milk (regular), 1 litre

 EUR 0.88

Loaf of fresh white bread (500g)

White rice (1kg)

 EUR 0.98

EUR 1.85

Eggs (12)

 EUR 2.23

Fresh cheese (1kg)

 EUR 7.38

Chicken breast (boneless, skinless) (1kg)  

 EUR 6.61

Beef (1kg) (or equivalent red meat)

 EUR 10.69

Apples (1kg)                                

 EUR 2.26 

Oranges (1kg)

Banana (1kg)

 EUR 2.16

EUR 1.72

Potatoes (1kg)

 EUR 1.21

Lettuce (1 head)

 EUR 1.27

Water (1.5 litre bottle)

 EUR 0.71

Bottle of wine (mid-range)

 EUR 5.00

Domestic beer (0.5 litre bottle)

 EUR 1.29

Imported beer (0.33 litre bottle)

 EUR 1.80

February 2019. Source: Numbeo

Text last edited on: 05/2019 on European Job Mobility Portal

EDUCATION SYSTEM

The education system is divided into primary, secondary, post-secondary, and tertiary levels. There is also a pre-primary level and childcare services.

Childcare services are offered mostly by the private sector. The Government has a number of childcare centres around the country. Childcare services are available for children aged 03. The centres operate free of charge for parents who are working or studying. . Children between the ages of 3 and 5 can attend pre-primary nurseries. These are state-run and free of charge.

Primary education is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 11. Following school reforms, there is no longer a system of examinations that determines which school a child will attend depending on the results. The school is determined by the catchment area. Secondary education is compulsory from the ages of 11 to 16. During the 2014/15 academic year, the co-education system was brought in at national level following a probation period.

Education in Malta is compulsory from the ages of 5 to 16. Legal action is taken against those parents or legal guardians who do not send their children to school during these years.

Post-secondary education is for students aged between 16 and 18. During this 2-year period, students are equipped with the academic skills and qualifications they need before enrolling at university. In post-secondary vocational education, students learn new skills in their vocational training area before taking up actual employment or continuing their studies.

Tertiary-level education in Malta is mostly provided by the country's only university, the University of Malta. This was established in 1592 and is of a very high standard. The University of Malta is an international university with students coming from all over the globe. Naturally, most of the students are Maltese. Undergraduate courses at the University of Malta are free of charge.

Vocational education at post-secondary and tertiary levels is mostly given at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), which also offers courses at degree level. MCAST also offers degree courses. The Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) offers vocational training in the field of tourism.

In Malta there are also a number of private sector training service providers acting as agents for international universities abroad. It is thus possible to live in Malta and study and obtain a degree, at bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels, from a non-Maltese university through distance learning and/or e-learning.

State primary schools are found in practically every town and village in the Maltese islands, including in Gozo. There are state secondary schools in a number of localities. The University of Malta, MCAST and ITS are all located in central Malta, thus making it easier for students to travel to them.

Apart from state schools, which are free of charge, there are a number of schools at primary, secondary and post-secondary level owned by the Catholic Church, other faiths, and the private sector. These are fee-paying.

RECOGNITION OF DIPLOMAS AND QUALIFICATIONS

Obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competencies may play a vital role in a person’s decision to seek employment in another EU country. Unfortunately, the different educational and training systems often make it difficult for employers and institutions to evaluate qualifications properly.

The recognition of professional qualifications

As a basic principle, EU citizens should be able to practice their profession in any other Member State. In reality, the different national requirements block access to certain professions in hosting countries.

In order to address these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. In this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (profession for which certain qualifications are required by law) and professions that are not legally regulated in the hosting Member State.

The European Commission has established a set of instruments to ensure greater transparency and the recognition of qualifications, for academic and professional objectives.

  • The European Qualifications Framework (EQF). The main objective of this framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems to facilitate the recognition of diplomas. Individuals and employers may use the EQF to more easily understand and compare qualifications earned in different countries. Countries may link their qualification systems to the EQF – and as from 2012, all new qualifications may be referred to an EQF level.
  • National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs) In 1984 a network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was set up on the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide consultancy about the academic recognition of periods of study spent abroad. NARICs, which are found in all EU Member States as well as countries of the European Economic Zone, play a vital role in the process of recognition of qualifications. The Malta NARIC is the MQRIC and applications for the recognition of diplomas and qualifications are made online. More information can be found in the links section.
  • The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) The objective of this system is to facilitate further the recognition of periods of study spent abroad. This allows for the transfer of learning between different educational institutions and offers a flexible way of achieving a degree.
  • Europass. Europass is an instrument that ensures the transparency of professional skills. It is made up of five standardised documents: the CV (Curriculum Vitae); a language passport; certificate supplements; diploma supplements; and a Europass document about Mobility. The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearer and easier to understand in different parts of Europe. Europass national centres have been set up in every country of the EU and the European Economic Area.
  • The Commission Database on regulated professions includes a searchable list of regulated professions in EU Member States, in EEA countries and Switzerland, together with contact points and information on competent authorities.

 USEFUL LINKS

http://www.jobsplus.gov.mt - Public Employment Service

http://www.ird.gov.mt - National Taxation Service

https://www.gov.mt - Government of Malta

http://www.foreign.gov.mt - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta

http://www.its.gov.mt - Institute of Tourism Studies

http://www.education.gov.mt - List of public, religuous and private schools

https://cfr.gov.mt - Office of the Commissioner for Revenue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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