Emergency Measures

COVID-19: Emergency Measures in Malta | Update 12

This is the 12th update on COVID-19 related measures.   

1. International News

1.1   OECD issues analysis of tax treaties and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis

On 3rd April 2020, the OECD Secretariat has issued guidance in view of taxation issues arising as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The analysis touches upon concerns related to:

  • the permanent establishment exposure risk of businesses having their employees dislocated to countries other than the country in which they regularly work;
  • the residence status of a company having its senior executives relocated or unable to travel;
  • cross-border workers; and
  • the residence status of individuals.

The OECD’s analysis may be accessed on the following link: https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/view/?ref=127_127237-vsdagpp2t3&title=OECD-Secretariat-analysis-of-tax-treaties-and-the-impact-of-the-COVID-19-Crisis

1.2   European Investment Fund unlocks €8 billion in finance for 100,000 SMEs

The European Commission has unlocked €1 billion from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) that will serve as a guarantee to the European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the European Investment Bank Group. This will allow the EIF to issue special guarantees to incentivise banks and other lenders to provide liquidity to at least 100,000 European SMEs and small mid-cap companies hit by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, for an estimated available financing of €8 billion.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_569

2. Legal Notices

2.1   Legal Notice 135 of 2020 (Suspension of Legal Times (Revenue Acts) Order, 2020)

With effect from the date on which this Legal Notice comes into force, any legal time referred to below shall be suspended until such date as may be prescribed by means of another order made by the Superintendent of Public Health. The legal times in question, including prescription periods and peremptory periods imposed under the Income Tax Act, the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act, the Income Tax Management Act, the Value Added Tax Act (the ‘Revenue Acts’) or under any other law for:

  1. the making by the Commissioner for Revenue of any assessment, demand for payment, request for information, decision or order, and the issue and service of any notice thereof;
  2. the payment by the Commissioner for Revenue of any refund of tax;
  3. the institution, execution or continuation of any judicial action for the collection of tax, additional tax, administrative penalty or interest, or for the prosecution or request for the prosecution of any criminal offence.

Additionally, when the Superintendent of Public Health orders the closure of any revenue department (i.e. any department or office falling under the responsibilities of the Commissioner for Revenue for the administration of any Revenue Act), any legal time referred to above that would expire, where it not for this order, during the period of closure or during the period of 28 days following the period of closure, shall be suspended. This applies to time imposed for:

  1. the furnishing, delivery, filing or submission to the Commissioner for Revenue of any return, form, claim, objection, appeal, notice or information;
  2. the payment or remittance to the Commissioner for Revenue of any tax due by or collected or withheld by any person.

This rule shall not, however, apply to and shall not suspend any legal time imposed under any Revenue Act for the submission of any return, form, clam or notice or the making of any payment that in terms of the particular Revenue Act is required to be submitted or made by electronic means.  

2.2   Legal Notice 136 of 2020 (Local Tribunals (Delivery of Summons) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020)

By virtue of this Legal Notice, the Local Enforcement System Agency shall have the power to demand from the Identity Malta Agency information concerning the last registered address of a physical person for the purposes of delivery of summons.

2.3   Legal Notice 137 of 2020 (Code of Organization and Civil Procedure (Amendment of Schedule A) Regulations, 2020)

This Legal Notice provides for the inapplicability of certain fees during the period in which the Superintendent of Public Health has ordered to closure of the court. Certain exceptions are envisaged.

2.4   Legal Notice 138 of 2020 (Local Tribunals (Suspension of Delivery of Summons) Regulations, 2020)

This Legal Notice provides for the suspension of a number of Regulations in the Local Tribunals (Delivery of Summons) Regulations, (S.L. 291.01). This suspension is being taken as a precautionary measure for the purpose of guarding against and, or controlling dangerous epidemics or infectious disease as announced by the Superintendent of Public Health, and shall remain so suspended for an indefinite period until so required by the Superintendent of Public Health and until the Minister lifts such suspension.

3. Administrative Notices

3.1   Commissioner for Revenue issues a notice to employers regarding the COVID Wage Supplement

A notice published by the Commissioner for Revenue provides that the wage supplement comprises taxable income in the hands of the employee but will not be treated as taxable or tax-deductible in the hands of the employer.

Government will give the wage supplement to the employer for each employee, though it will retain 10% in social security contributions as a prepaid employees’ share of social security contributions. The employer is then to calculate what is due in totality to the Commissioner for Revenue in social security contributions, maternity fund contributions and taxes.

Source: https://cfr.gov.mt/en/News/Pages/2020/COVID-Wage-supplement-Payroll-Implications-NOTICE-TO-EMPLOYERS.aspx

3.2   Further clarifications published by Malta Enterprise regarding the COVID Wage Supplement

The COVID Wage Supplement may only cover a person’s main source of income. Those in receipt of a Government, retirement or services pension, and students receiving a stipend are not eligible for the COVID Wage Supplement.

Source: https://covid19.maltaenterprise.com/employee-wage-support/?application-form-added

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