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The “Highly Qualified Persons Rule” has been launched in order to recruit the highest qualified professionals available worldwide, as a measure to attract top talent and skills in the financial services, remote gaming and aviation sectors.
Highly Qualified Persons Rules ( HQP ) – Tax Planning for High-Income Earners
A Tax Programme to attract foreign talent to Malta.
Malta introduced a specific Tax Programme, the “Highly Qualified Persons Rule” with the sole aim and purpose of recruiting the highest qualified, experienced and senior professionals available over the globe, as a measure to attract top talent and skills in the financial services, virtual financial assets framework, remote gaming and aviation sectors.
This scheme was introduced by virtue of L.N. 106 of 2011 and prolonged to these other sectors by the Legal Notice 141 of 2018.
What are the main requirements to benefit from the Highly Qualified Persons Rule?
Senior employees that occupy positions with companies licensed by the MFSA (Malta Financial Services Authority), the MGA (Malta and Gaming Authority) or the Authority for Transport in Malta (TM), might be eligible for the Highly Qualified Persons Rules Programme.
As a business and investment hub, Malta’s success in the financial services, iGaming, and aviation industry depends on securing top talented managers, directors and CEOs. Regulated entities depend on the ability to attract and recruit highly qualified, experienced and senior professionals available worldwide.
Senior Positions, or “Eligible Office” in the financial sector and iGaming industry means employment in one of the following positions, amongst others:
- Actuarial Professional
- Aviation Continuing Airworthiness Manager
- Aviation Flight Operations Manager
- Aviation Ground Operations Manager
- Aviation Training Manager
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
- Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)
- Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
- Chief Investment Officer (CIO)
- Chief Operations Officer (COO)
- Chief Risk Officer (CRO)
- Head of Marketing
- Head of Research and Development
- Senior Analyst
- VFA Service Providers
Also, the income would need to be a minimum of €75,000 which is adjusted annually according to the Retail Price index.
In practice, this means that the minimum income (based on the Retail Price Index published by the National Statistics Office) must exceed €86,938 for the year 2021.
Further Eligibility Requirements
The applicant shall:
- derive employment income subject to income tax in Malta;
- have an employment contract subject to the laws of Malta;
- provide sufficient proof to show that s/he is in possession of professional qualifications and has at least five (5) years professional experience;
- have not benefitted from deductions available to investment services expatriates with respect to relocation costs and other deductions;
- fully disclose information for tax purposes and declares emoluments received in respect of income from a qualifying contract of employment and all income received from a person related to his employer paying out income from a qualifying contract which shall be considered to be as chargeable to tax in Malta;
- provide sufficient evidence to proof that he/she performs activities in an eligible office;
- prove that s/he is in receipt of sufficient and regular resources which enables the applicant to maintain him/herself and any family members;
- provide proof that his/her residential property meets the general health and safety standards in force in Malta;
- be in possession of a valid travel document, and;
- be in possession of sickness/health insurance in respect of all risks covered for Maltese nationals for him/herself and any family members.
Any person who is eligible to fall under the said rules, upon submitting an application, shall be eligible for two further extensions for the qualifying period (five years with respect to EEA and Swiss nationals and four years with respect to third-country nationals).
The Highly Qualified Persons Rule: The Benefits
Applicants eligible for The Highly Qualified Persons Programme will benefit from a flat tax rate of 15% up to a maximum income of €5M. Any excess on the said sum is exempt from tax.
An HQP applicant will have to submit a prescribed form (endorsed by the relevant authority) to the local tax authorities together with his/her tax return.
CSB Group – Your Trusted Advisor
With over 30 years of experience in the corporate and financial services industry in Malta, CSB Group is committed to provide top-notch services to Private Clients worldwide. CSB Group has been providing Investment immigration services to High-Net-Worth families since the inception of these programmes.
Our team will guide you through the process of applying for the Highly Qualified Person rule status and are also available to give you further tax advice and support.
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