Breakfast briefing in London organised by the Malta High Commission and introduced by H.E Joseph Zammit Tabona High Commissioner of Malta to the Court of St James's.
Thursday 7 February 2013
Start time: 8:30am
Attendance is free of charge and will include continental breakfast.
8:00am - 8:30am
Coffee and Registration
Malta High Commission,
Nearest tube stations: Piccadilly Circus or Green Park
Attendance is by registration only and free of charge on a first come, first served basis. Please feel free to invite any of your colleagues or clients who you feel may be interested.
Register your interest by sending your details (name, surname, telephone and organisation) to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 6th of February 2013.
At the event you will learn more about Malta and the 360 degree package it presents - offering not only full spectrum IP protection but also excellent corporate structures and tax incentives. Malta is Europe's best kept secret in this regard. IP law provides peace of mind for the protection of your assets, while service providers and Government agencies design and assist with offering advice and incentives to facilitate your setting up, moving, or relocating to Malta. You are spoilt for choice: preferential corporate tax regime, income tax exemption for royalties on patents with similar exemptions for copyright and trade mark royalties in the pipeline, advantageous income tax rates for Highly Qualified individuals, and lest we forget, the best climate in the world.
Malta has earned its reputation as one of the most ideal locations for international companies to relocate their business interests, offering a sound, cost-and tax- efficient jurisdiction and acting as a hub from which to reach out to Europe, Africa and beyond. Specific incentives introduced regarding intellectual property rights have also placed Malta as the ideal jurisdiction for the exploitation and maximisation of your intellectual property rights.
In successfully attracting more private investment towards Malta, the Government of Malta has created structures to eliminate bureaucracy where possible and create clear guidelines and regulations for setting up a presence in Malta.
Malta has made its mark as a smart island in more ways than one. It boasts a technical infrastructure like no other, with no technical barriers to business wishing to set up here. Not only does Malta benefit from a favourable geographic position but it also offers political and social stability, state-of-the-art telecoms, a wonderfully colourful history and culture, a multi-skilled and multi-lingual workforce, healthy industrial relations, accessible regulators with a "can do" attitude and a pleasant and secure living environment. Malta brings to the table a modern country with an open market economy, good corporate climate, advantageous tax regime, a low inflation rate, low unemployment and an excellent track record.
The Maltese Government has over the past 2 years dedicated a working group to the creation of a strategy for the Creative Industries. The Creative Economy Working Group, set up by the Ministry of Finance, and working closely with the Ministry for Culture, has mapped the creative industries in Malta, assessed strengths and opportunities and has devised, alongside the strategy, a number of incentives aimed at workers and enterprises.
An Attractive Corporate Tax Regime
The Maltese legal and fiscal landscape is very inviting, and the limited liability company offers a convenient, tax efficient vehicle for carrying out trading or investment activities from Malta. If the company, or for that matter any other Maltese centrally managed and controlled entity, receives qualifying royalties (e.g. royalties paid for the use of patents, copyright and trade marks and meeting straightforward conditions), then the receipt of the royalty income should not be charged to Maltese income tax.
In the event that the royalties received are not qualifying royalties, the standard rate of tax on income and chargeable gains (on the transfer of IP) is 35%. However, further to the application of a statutory right to refund of the Maltese imputation credit, triggered by certain distributions of taxed profits, the overall effective Malta tax burden may be reduced generally to 5%. In some instances the effective Maltese tax burden is even lower.
Added to the favourable tax treatment of the royalties in terms of Maltese income taxation, certain royalty payments may also benefit from over 60 Maltese tax treaties and the European Interest and Royalty Directive to reduce or altogether remove foreign withholding taxes.
Where does IP fit into the grand scheme of things?
In reality, IP is the underpinning of the momentum currently being built; an initiative targeting the innovative and creative industries and encouraging them to set up in Malta and domicile their IP in Malta.
Malta has been a supporter of IP, and has promulgated IP laws since the fledgling days of IP legislation. British copyright statutes were automatically enacted in Malta during its days as a colony of the British Empire. Once a Republic, Malta's commitment to IP has grown from sphere to sphere. Malta is a member of numerous international IP conventions and treaties, and has become a member of important regional and international IP organisations, such as the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the European Patent Organisation and the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market. Thanks to EU harmonisation, Maltese IP laws have been in line with IP laws throughout the rest of Europe, with Malta placing importance on IP as an asset in the hands of the IP holder.
Incentives specific to IP
A number of incentives have been formulated to be of advantage to IP holders. There already exists a tax refund for persons who wish to apply for IP registrations.
Another key incentive is the income tax exemption on royalties arising from patents – this incentive is available to all holders of a patent, wherever it is filed.
Following on from the latter incentive, the Maltese Government announced in recent Budget speeches that royalties and such other income generated from copyright works and from trade marks shall be exempt from income tax. This incentive is aimed at the industries generating copyright and the persons (including companies) owning such copyright, and at the holders of trade marks. The Government is in the process of implementing this measure, but it has been received as great news for operators in the intellectual property industries.
Dr. Antonio Ghio
Dr. Antonio Ghio heads the ICT law Department at Fenech & Fenech Advocates and specializes in telecommunications law, data protection, Intellectual property law, e-commerce, remote gaming and internet law. For the past eleven years his work has solely revolved around ICT law issues and trying to find solutions that the constant struggle between law and technology creates, both inside and outside of the courtrooms. Ghio also lectures ICT law and Cyber Crime at the University of Malta and is the Chairman of the Malta Communications Authority after having served as a member of the board of directors for over four years. He has an LL.M in ICT law from the University of Strathclyde. He is a regular speaker on ICT and IP law issues in conferences both locally and abroad. He also serves as EU Digital Champion for Malta.
Tel: +356 2124 1232
Dr. Edward Attard
Edward Attard is a tax lawyer at PwC Malta, specialising in international and European taxation law. Prior to moving to Malta in 2011, Edward worked in London for PwC, and has considerable experience assisting large multinational corporations (FTSE 100 companies) and high net worth individuals exercise their EU law rights, and tailoring international taxation solutions against a fluid legislative and commercial backdrop. He is actively involved in the PwC pan-EU effort, and is a member of the PwC EU law technical committee, State Aid working group, CCCTB working group and EUDTG steering group. Edward has an Adv. LL.M. (Leiden) Hons. and in addition to his work at PwC he occasionally lectures in the Netherlands and in Austria, and has published works with Kluwer law and the IBFD. Edward has spoken at a number of conferences on a range of Intellectual Property taxation mitigation matters.
Tel: +356 2564 6750
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.