LITIGATION

Our experienced and dedicated Litigation Team is equipped to provide legal representation on all judicial and quasi-judicial matters whilst also possessing the necessary resources to carry out advanced research on legislation and jurisprudence. Anthony P. Farrugia & Associates are able to advise and represent both local and international clients in a wide variety of legal matters.

The firm provides litigation services in the following areas among others:

Civil Law

Commercial Law

Criminal Law

Company Law

Family Law

Industrial Tribunal/Employment Cases

Small Claims Cases


TAX AND CORPORATE FORMATION

Anthony P. Farrugia & Associates has developed significantly over the years in the area of corporate services by building a team of professionals who combine their years of experience and qualifications to provide efficient and cost-effective solutions for corporate set ups. Our firm is equipped to provide clients with a full service when it comes to the formation of companies, including but not limited to:

• The drafting of memorandums and articles of association,
• Company registration with the MFSA as well as any correspondence or required official copies,
• Application for VAT and Income Tax numbers,
• The setting up of corporate bank accounts and corporate banking facilities with Malta’s leading banks,
• Registered office and mail forwarding services,
• Drafting of company profiles and organigrams,
• Providing book keeping and annual administration and maintenance as required by the MFSA.

The firm is also in a position to advise and act for individuals and companies in matters relating to both local and international tax implications. Having EU Member status, Malta is an ideal jurisdiction for accessing the various benefits of the European market. In 2007, Malta revised its corporate tax system to remove the remnants of positive tax discrimination by extending the possibility to claim tax refunds to residents and non-residents alike. Certain aspects such as the participation exemption which serve to make Malta a more attractive tax planning jurisdiction were also introduced. Malta has modified and will continue to modify its tax laws to bring them in line with various EU directives and OECD initiatives and as a result has produced an attractive, competitive, fully EU compliant tax system.

The corporate tax rate in Malta is currently at 35%. The taxable income for companies which are both resident and domiciled in Malta includes worldwide income and certain capital gains. Companies which are either not resident in Malta or not domiciled in Malta are subject to tax on any income and certain capital gains arising in Malta and on income arising outside Malta, which is received in a Maltese bank account. Such companies are not subject to tax on any capital gains arising outside Malta. Taxable profits of each year are the profits reported in the company’s audited financial statements adjusted by adding non-deductible expenses and by deducting exempt income.

Tax Refunds for Non-Residents:

Malta has become one of the most popular destinations for corporate set up due to its favourable tax refund scheme. Malta offers tax refunds on distributed profits which have suffered tax in Malta (with the exception of profits derived from real estate, known as property companies, or profits subject to a final withholding tax). In order to qualify for a refund, the profits must be distributed either to non-resident shareholders or to a Maltese holding company wholly owned by non-residents. The rates of the tax refund are: 6/7 of the Maltese tax paid on the distributed profits (total corporate tax burden in Malta is equal to only 5% in this case); 5/7 of the Maltese tax paid when the dividend is distributed from passive interest or royalties; 2/3 of the Maltese tax paid when the distributed dividend is derived from foreign sourced income that was relieved from double taxation.

This Maltese tax refund system is unique in Europe and is considered to be completely EU compliant, making Malta one of the most attractive and popular tax efficient European destinations for business set up and development. Apart from the above mentioned tax advantages Malta has to offer, there are also other areas of interest, namely:

Aviation

Income derived from the ownership, leasing or operation of an aircraft used in the international transport of passengers or goods, is considered to be arising outside Malta. Consequently, a resident non-domiciled company will only be taxable in Malta if it receives its income in Malta.

Shipping

Shipping organisations are not subject to income tax on income derived from shipping activities. However, they have to pay an annual tax based on tonnage.

Non-resident shipping companies pay taxes on all profits from the transport of passengers, mail, livestock or goods shipped in Malta. Non-resident shipping companies are not taxable on profits arising from the goods that are brought in Malta for trans-shipment or by a casual call in the port.

Freeport activities

The Malta Freeport is a customs-free zone located around the harbour of Marsaxlokk Bay. The Malta Freeports Act 1989 offers a number of tax incentives to companies licensed by the Freeport Authority. The incentives include exemption from customs duties, stamp duty, withholding tax (except for distributions to Maltese residents), exchange control and death duties.

Industrial development

Under the Investment Aid Regulations 2008 (IARs), Investment Tax Credits are available in respect of qualifying expenditure incurred on or after the first of January 2008 by companies which conduct business consisting solely of one or more qualifying activities. The qualifying activities include activities related to manufacturing, information and communication technology, research and development (R&D) and innovation, logistics operations as well as activities carried out by companies licensed under the Malta Freeports Act.

Pursuant to IARs, investment tax credits are calculated as a percentage of qualifying capital expenditure or wage cost of jobs created. The rates are as follows: 50% for small enterprises, 40% for medium-sized enterprises, and 30% for large enterprises. Investment tax credits are deducted from the tax due.

Under the Business Promotion Act (BPA), the following incentives are available:
(1) investment allowances over and above the cost of the plant and machinery, land, industrial buildings and structures and
(2) reduced tax rate for reinvested profits in respect of qualifying expenditure. The reduction amounts to 19.25%.

R&D activities

Various incentives are provided to stimulate enterprises to engage in R&D. For example, tax credits calculated as a percentage (10.5% to 35%) of qualifying R&D expenditure are available as a deduction from the tax liability. The credit is granted in addition to the normal deduction of the expenditure from taxable income.

Companies engaged in particular activities, including back office operations, development of warehouses, e-business, film servicing and reinvestment of profits may also qualify for incentives similar to the incentives for R&D.


TRUSTS & ASSET PROTECTION

The preservation and protection of wealth and the interests of our future generations is a concern which affects all of us at some time or another in our lives. Anthony P. Farrugia & Associates offer a number of solutions through the use of appropriate legal vehicles carefully selected to cater for the specific needs of the client. These solutions are provided through Maltese legislation that caters for the setting up of various types of trusts, foundations, fiduciary arrangements and corporate structures that may be used by both local and international clients.


SHIPPING

The Maltese Islands boast a history of maritime tradition. With its natural deep harbours and its strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta has long been considered as a bridge between Europe and North Africa and the perfect hub within which to base oneself for trips between the two continents. Coupled with a good work ethic and a number of fiscal incentives, Malta has dubbed itself as a ‘Flag of Confidence’ with statistics showing an impressive registered tonnage of 66.5 million, making it Europe’s largest ship register and the 6th largest shipping register worldwide.

Local legislation in the Maritime sector is robust, with Malta being compliant with all major IMO and ILO treaties. Recently, the authorities have made a concerted effort to target the yachting sector, not only through ship and yacht registration and financing, but also by developing Malta’s infrastructure to cater for yacht maintenance. A number of projects are under way to realise Malta’s maritime historic potential as a centre for shipping and yachting in the Mediterranean.

Anthony P. Farrugia & Associates are able to advise and carry out the procedures on the following aspects:

  • Malta Flag State Registration
  • Registration of Ship Mortgages
  • Incorporation of Shipping Companies
  • Yacht Registration
  • Registration of Yacht Mortgages
  • Yacht VAT Leasing in Malta
  • Maritime Litigation
  • Organising Ship Management Structures


REMOTE GAMING

In 2004, Malta became the first EU Member State to enact comprehensive legislation on remote gaming, with industry stakeholders considering Malta as one of the foremost tried and tested jurisdictions in the world.

In the last decade Malta has emerged as an undisputed front-runner in the regulation of the online gaming industry. A stable and attractive regulatory environment has enabled the gaming sector in Malta to flourish. As the iGaming Industry continues to evolve, the Maltese Gaming Authority strives to remain competitive, developing its legislation in tune with the industry’s needs.

This together with several other advantages which Malta has to offer has put the Island in the pole position. It is estimated that Malta hosts around 10% of the world’s online gaming companies. Malta offers very attractive fiscal regimes; gaming taxes differ according to the type of license acquired. Furthermore, investors may avail themselves of tax advantages relative to Maltese companies.

Anthony P. Farrugia & Associates offer both legal assistance while obtaining a license and also assists in setting up of the corporate structure, employment contracts and all other gaming clients’ needs. We provide our clients with a comprehensive tailor-made service.


FAMILY REUNIFICATION AND REFUGEE SERVICES

Our family reunification services include the application for residence permits and travel documents of all family members.

Over the past few years, Anthony P. Farrugia and Associates have been working with a steady stream of refugee clients. Our team of dedicated lawyers aim to assist clients through what is often a very turbulent time in their lives. Malta grants asylum seekers one of three statuses: either refugee status, subsidiary status or temporary humanitarian protection, each of which is awarded after a strict review of each applicant’s circumstances.

Once refugee status has been granted to an individual, that person has a right to request that his family be brought to Malta to join him. The family reunification process though relatively straightforward, takes on average 2 months to be completed. Once approval is gained from the Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs Department, a request for a VISA is made and the family is brought to Malta.

From the initial stages, we are there for our clients, assisting them with applying for refugee status, accompanying clients to interviews and ensuring that the refugee process is fair. Where necessary we file appeal proceedings where we believe that the outcome of the interviews does not properly reflect the client’s situation.

Once refugee status or subsidiary status has been granted, our team of lawyers assist clients with applying for residence permits and travel documents, where applicable.


RELOCATION SERVICES

At Anthony P.Farrugia and Associates we strive to make your move to Malta as seamless as possible. Our team of dedicated lawyers will assist you and your family in applying for the necessary VISAs and residence permits. In recent years Identity Malta, the government department which handles the above applications has streamlined its system to group both residence permits and work permits under the same application entitled Single Work Permit Applications (SWPA). With the correct paperwork, SWPAs take on average 2-3 months to be approved and are valid for a period of one year. Our team at Anthony P. Farrugia and Associates do their best to ensure that all permit renewals are tackled in a timely and efficiently manner, successfully taking control of what is often a stressful and laborious task.

Our team of lawyers aim to provide a holistic service, covering all aspects of the transition. Through a number of long standing relationships, we can assist clients with finding the perfect accommodation to suit their individual needs and budget, and also regularly coordinate the enrollment of minor children into the school system.

We are also highly capable of providing our relocation services to business entities and persons who wish to set up new businesses in Malta. Apart from providing our clients with an efficient and cost effective corporate formation package to get their business up and running, our team of professionals may assist in the searching and acquiring of real estate whether for residential or commercial purposes, together with drafting and formalising any or all legal requirements and documentation for rental or purchasing agreements. We take pride in being able to offer our clients a stellar service in this area by applying our wide range of contacts gained over a multitude of years within the industry.


VISA AND WORK PERMITS

Third Country Nationals (Non-EU Individuals) entering into Malta to work would require to apply for a work permit via the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs at Identity Malta. This requirement emanates from Legal Notice 160 of 2014, whereby Third Country Nationals must possess a ‘Single Permit Application’ to legally work within Malta.

The Single Permit issued is representative of the employer-employee relationship. Therefore, Third Country Nationals would not be able to use such permit to work wherever he/she may please, even on a part-time basis.

The process may seem daunting however at Legum Servi, our dedicated legal team posses the required experience and expertise to provide the appropriate guidance in order to obtain the necessary and relative documentation required for expatriates apply for the Single Work Permit to work in Malta.

LET’S WORK TOGETHER

We work as a single united team with market leading firms around the world and give our clients the highest quality advice possible.

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