The Republic of Malta is an archipelago of islands in the Mediterranean Sea, some 80 km to the south of Sicily. Malta is composed of three main islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino – which together cover just over 316 sq km. The population of Malta numbers around 500,000, making it one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries. The capital is Valletta.

Malta gained independence from the UK in 1964 and became a republic in 1974. It was admitted to the European Union in 2004 and joined the euro zone in 2008. Malta has two official languages – Maltese and English – and follows what is usually referred to as the European model of private law. English common law does not apply but its influence is strong in commercial practice and regulation, especially in corporate, insurance and banking law.

As an EU member state, Malta has implemented all the relevant EU directives in respect of corporate taxation, including the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive and the Interest and Royalties Directive. Malta’s tax system has been deemed by the European Commission to be compliant with EU non-discrimination principles and has also gained approval from the OECD.

Since 1988, Malta has built a comprehensive legislative and regulatory framework for financial services and international business. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is the single licensing and supervisory authority for all financial services activity.

Effective regulation, full EU ‘passporting rights’ and strong investor safeguards are the main pillars of Malta’s financial centre, which offers a sophisticated range of banking, investment, legal, accountancy and other professional services. Malta has further enacted legislation to regulate the provision of Virtual Financial Asset services and has positioned itself as a hub for online gaming, blockchain, fintech and other new technologies. Communication and transport links are excellent.

In order to encourage the growth of international trade including that of financial services, successive Maltese governments have sought to conclude double tax treaties with important trading partners, as well as with emerging countries. To date, treaties are in force with over 70 countries and this policy is expected to continue in the future.

Licensed by The Malta Financial Services Authority

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