Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island staunchly supported the UK through both World Wars and remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Malta became a republic. Since about the mid-1980s, the island has transformed itself into a freight transshipment point, a financial center, and a tourist destination. Malta became an EU member in May 2004.
Once considered one of the strategic gateways between Europe and North Africa, Malta is an archipelago comprised of seven islands out of which only three are inhabited. The largest of these islands is the island of Malta which houses the capital city of Valletta. The primary languages are Maltese and English.
Malta’s climate consists of two primary seasons, winter and summer. The winters are mild and temperate with temperatures during the coldest months (Jan, Feb) averaging approximately 60F (15C). The summers are hot and dry with temperatures in the hottest months (Jun, Jul) averaging approximately 85F (30C). Rain is common in the winter and rare in the summer.
Malta is a parliament led republic. A Unicameral House of Representatives is elected via single transferable vote once every five years. The house is comprised of sixty-five members of parliament. The House in term elects a President of the Republic once every five years. The role of president is largely ceremonial. Per the terms of the Maltese Constitution, the President may elect as Prime Minister, a member of the House who is able to command a governing majority. The President may also dissolve the House.
Parties represented by the current regime include:
- The Nationalist Party (Christian Democratic)
- The Malta Labour Party (Social Democratic)
Previously represented parties that currently have no representation in the House:
- Alpha Liberal Democratic party (Liberal Reformist)
- Imperium Europa (White Nationalism/Libertarianism)
- Alternattiva Demokratika (Green Party)
The Nationalist Party is currently leading the House.
Malta is divided into sixty-eight local councils or districts. These districts are the most basic form of local government.
Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004.
The greatest tax advantages fall to those who are willing to obtain private residence permits. Residence permits qualify the permit holder (Maltese or non-Maltese) for privileged tax status. Advantages include tax-free yacht registrations, no taxation on inheritance or capital gains, and double tax treaties (taxation agreements) with these countries:
- Belgium (Supplement)
- Czech Republic
- France (Protocol)
- Ireland *
- Jordan *
- Libya (Protocol)
- Morocco *
- Netherlands (Protocol)
- Russia *
- San Marino
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Thailand *
- Turkey *
- Ukraine *
- United Arab Emirates *
- United Kingdom
- USA (suspended)
* Being Negotiated
The resident national permit holder need not even reside in Malta as long as they abide by the rules of the permit.
A temporary resident permit may be obtained through the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs, Castile Place in Valletta as long as you can prove you have an annual income of 6,000Lm. An additional income of 1,000Lm for each dependent will also be required.
For permanent residence, property may be purchased. The property purchase price must be greater than 15,000Lm for non-residents nationals, 20,000Lm (apartment), 30,000Lm (house) for permanent resident nationals. Non-residents nationals may legally own only one property at a time.
Permanent resident nationals pay a maximum 15% tax rate annually. Onshore corporations have a maximum taxation of 4.17% annually. The low corporate tax rate provides an excellent jurisdiction for entrepreneurs and international investors looking to establish low-tax companies.
Temporary residents must pay taxes if their stay exceeds 182 out of any year (365(6) days). There are several tax brackets up to 35%. The first 4,000Lm earned is tax-free. Income remitted to Malta is taxed. Capital gains are not taxed.
The WHO (World Health Organization) ranks the Maltese healthcare system 5th out of 190 ranked worldwide in overall health performance. The report examined several factors such as life expectancy, access to adequate healthcare, responsiveness in provision of diagnosis and treatment, and how fairly the systems were financed.
Malta is one of the Mediterranean’s best hidden secrets. There are excellent deals if you are patient and know where to look. A decent one bedroom apartment will cost you about 25,000Lm, a decent 2 bedroom house, about 45,000Lm.
In additional to the cost of the house, expect to pay a purchase tax which is levied at approximately 10 percent of the total purchase price. Add notary (1%), title (200Lm) and registration fees.
The shopping on the island is fairly good. A fantastic starting point would be bay Street at St. George’s. They even have a Hard Rock Cafe. 😉
The Bay Street Complex in St. George is an excellent destination for shopping and dining in first-world elegance.
The more traditional shopper may opt to visit the open air markets or homegrown bakeries.
Cost of Living