In a press conference held on 8th June 2020, the Prime Minister Dr Robert Abela, Finance Minister Prof Edward Scicluna and Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Mr Silvio Schembri launched further measures to boost the Maltese economy post COVID-19 with the main highlights:
Property and Construction
- The stamp duty rate on property purchases will be reduced from 5% to 1.5% on contracts to be signed between June 9 and March 31 of next year.
- Tax for those selling property under development or those contracts made after June 1 up to March 31, 2021 will be reduced from 8% to 5%
- The 1st time buyers’ scheme will be modified for all contracts taking place from 9 June, unless a person has benefitted from the scheme since 2013.
- Businesses in construction are allocated a budget of 4 million with a capping of Eur200,000 for each business, to invest in modern, more efficient and environment friendly machinery.
This scheme was meant to cover a wide range of taxes initially for the months of March and April. The taxes included Provisional Tax, VAT and National Insurance Contribution on salaries. The period was extended to cover another two months, up to the end of June. National Insurance, income tax and maternity contributions will now start to be paid from 1 July. Other taxes due by companies have been deferred to the end of August. Companies can pay the deferred tax by May next year, with no interest charged.
A budget of 50 million has been allocated for a rent refund. Businesses falling under Annex A and Annex B will be able to apply for a grant of up to Eur2,500 by submitting their lease agreements.
COVID wage supplement
Businesses who have been affected by COVID19 will continue receiving the COVID wage supplement until September 2019. The wage supplement will now be divided in 3 categories:
- Annex A – businesses severely affected like tourist accommodation, travel agencies language schools, event organisations and air transport. They will keep receiving the full supplement.
- Annex A – Businesses not in the above category will be tapered to an amount of 600 for Full timers and 375 for part timers. Students and pensioners who are in employment will also fall in this category.
- Annex B – Annex B will include personal services and other businesses/self-employed who depend on local consumption. Businesses falling under Annex B will continue taking the supplement until September.
30 million is budgeted for an electricity refund to businesses falling under Annex A and Annex B. Such businesses will be assisted on 50% of a commercial rate for the months of July – September up to a maximum amount of Eur1,500 per applicant.
Microinvest cash conversion
Microinvest is providing a conversion of 30% of its credits to grants, with a capping of Eur2,000 per business. Family businesses, female entrepreneurs, and businesses in Gozo will receive a grant of Eur2,500.