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COVID-19: Emergency Measures in Malta | Update 25

1. Legal Notices

  1. Legal Notice 202 of 2020 (Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and Outlets Providing Non-essential Services (Amendment No. 2) Order, 2020)
  2. Legal Notice 203 of 2020 (General Provisions applying to the Suspension of Legal and Judicial Times (Amendment No. 2) Order, 2020)
  3. Legal Notice 204 of 2020 (Closure of Places Open to the Public (Amendment No. 3) Order, 2020)
  4. Legal Notice 205 of 2020 (Suspension of Organised Events (Amendment) Order, 2020)
  5. Legal Notice 207 of 2020 (Suspension of Legal Times relating to Promise of Sale Agreements, Notarial and other related matters (Epidemics and Infectious Disease) Order (Amendment) Order, 2020)
  6. Legal Notice 208 of 2020 (Number of Persons in Public Spaces (Increase in Number of Persons) (Amendment) Order, 2020)

2. Administrative Notices

  1. Commissioner for Revenue: notice to self-employed persons regarding SSC implications of the COVID Wage Supplement
  2. Commissioner for Revenue: revised refund claim application
  3. Malta Development Bank: update to accredited commercial banks list 

1. Legal Notices

1.1   Legal Notice 202 of 2020 (Closure of Non-Essential Retail Outlets and Outlets Providing Non-essential Services (Amendment No. 2) Order, 2020)

Legal Notice 95 of 2020 has been amended by this Legal Notice with effect from 22 May such that it no longer orders the closure of hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, nail artists and nail technicians. Orders for closures are still in place for spas and tattooists.

Additionally, vaping shops will be allowed to open solely and exclusively for sale of products permissible in accordance with the Tobacco (Smoking Control) Act and for no other service, and clients are not to remain inside the vaping shops after availing themselves of such products.

1.2   Legal Notice 203 of 2020 (General Provisions applying to the Suspension of Legal and Judicial Times (Amendment No. 2) Order, 2020)

It appears that this Legal Notice lifts the suspension on the running of time on registered promise of sale agreements, that is, on promise of sale agreements which have been registered with the Commissioner of Inland Revenue in terms of law within the period established by law.

It also introduces a transitory provision which provides that the suspension of any term as in force before the entry into force of this Legal Notice in so far as it regards the performance of obligations relating to a registered promise of sale agreement and the expiration of a promise of sale duly registered shall remain in force for 20 days after the entry into force of this Legal Notice.

1.3   Legal Notice 204 of 2020 (Closure of Places Open to the Public (Amendment No. 3) Order, 2020)

This Legal Notice amends Legal Notice 76 of 2020 with effect from 22 May such that it no longer orders the closure of restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars, clubs, open-air markets, the national swimming pool and gaming parlours.

This Legal Notice provides that restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars and clubs that have seating facilities outdoors shall principally, and as far as practicable, provide services to their clients outdoors. It is also provided that all restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars and clubs that do not have seating facilities outdoors, shall provide services to their clients indoors, at a reduced capacity and always with the applicable measures of social distancing. All restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars and clubs may continue to provide delivery and take-away services to the community and all restaurants, cafeterias and snack bars situated in hotels may continue to provide room service to hotel guests and delivery service to the community.

The Legal Notice also provides that gaming parlours shall open solely and exclusively to provide sports betting through the till and for no other service, and that clients are not to remain inside the gaming parlours after availing themselves of such sports betting service.

Orders for closures are still in place for bars, cinemas, gymnasiums, museums, exhibitions, discotheques, night clubs, indoor swimming pools, massage parlours, gaming premises including controlled gaming premises, bingo halls, casinos and betting shops.

1.4   Legal Notice 205 of 2020 (Suspension of Organised Events (Amendment) Order, 2020)

Legal Notice 101 of 2020 has been amended by this Legal Notice with effect from 22 May such that sports activities organized in accordance with the list issued by the Superintendent of Public Health for individual and group training of not more than 6 persons in open spaces are exempt from the order and are instead subject to mitigation measures issued by the Superintendent of Public Health.

The amendment also provides that the Superintendent of Public Health may, at her discretion, grant an exemption which is subject to measures which the Superintendent may impose, if she is satisfied that the organize event is such as to enable the public to maintain social distance and other preventive measures.

1.5   Legal Notice 207 of 2020 (Suspension of Legal Times relating to Promise of Sale Agreements, Notarial and other related matters (Epidemics and Infectious Disease) Order (Amendment) Order, 2020)

Legal Notice 75 of 2020 has been amended with effect from 22 May such that the suspension of any expiration of any term in any promise of sale agreement duly registered in terms of law with the Commissioner of Revenue within the period established by law has been lifted.

The Legal Notice also provides for a transitory provision which provides that the suspension of any term as in force before the entry into force of this Legal Notice in so far as it concerns the expiration of a promise of sale duly registered according to the law with the Commissioner of Revenue shall remain in force for 20 days after the date of entry into force of this Legal Notice.

1.6   Legal Notice 208 of 2020 (Number of Persons in Public Spaces (Increase in Number of Persons) (Amendment) Order, 2020)

This Legal Notice amends Legal Notice 173 of 2020 with effect from 22 May such that the maximum number of persons in public spaces has been increased to 6 persons.

2. Administrative Notices

2.1   Commissioner for Revenue: notice to self-employed persons regarding SSC implications of the COVID Wage Supplement

On 20 May, the Commissioner for Revenue issued a notice to self-employed persons clarifying the following:

  • The COVID Wage Supplement replaces or supplements the normal income of the self-employed hence it is taxable in the hands of the recipient.
  • Government will give the wage supplement to each eligible self-employed person though it will retain 10% SSC as prepaid SSC. The self-employed person will have to calculate what is due in totality to the Commissioner for Revenue at the normal SSC rates for all the weeks covered by the respective SSC instalment and deduct therefrom the amount of SSC prepaid to the Commissioner.
  • Where an employer has claimed the COVID Wage Supplement with respect to employees which are liable to pay Class 2 rates, 10% SSC will be retained by Government and treated as prepaid. The payment of the Class 2 contributions shall be calculated and treated as explained above. The emoluments earned and tax paid are required to be declared on the relative FSS forms, however the SSC (being Class 2) requires to be omitted from such forms in line with the usual procedure.

Source

2.2   Commissioner for Revenue: revised refund claim application

The Office of the Commissioner for Revenue have issued a revised refund claim application applicable for refunds claimed under article 48(4) and 48(4A) of the Income Tax Management Act, Cap. 372 of the Laws of Malta (“ITMA”). The revised form will be the only valid form with respect to filings made from 1 June 2020 onwards and will be used to declare the beneficial owners of the shareholder/s claiming the tax refund. The revised requirements are summarised below:

  • Section 2 of the form: the shareholder is a trustee/fiduciary or there are trustees / fiduciaries in the shareholding chain

Certificate in terms of article 5(3) ITMA disclosing full details (name in full, DOB, official ID including type of document / country of issue) of ALL immediate and ultimate beneficial owners of the trustee / fiduciary.

  • Section 2 of the firm: the shareholder is not an individual and there are no trustees / fiduciaries in the shareholding chain (or entitled to dividend)

Director/s Declaration disclosing full details (as stated above) of all beneficiaries of the shareholder claiming the tax refund.

As from 1 June 2020, such documentation should be furnished with the revised refund claim form. Information regarding beneficial ownership provided in such documentation should tally with information as provided in the shareholder registration. The refund application will only be considered valid if:

  1. the originally signed revised refund claim form is filed;
  2. documentation as stated above is/are filed;
  3. part C of the shareholder registration form is revised;
  4. the information declared in (2) tallies with (3).

As a transitory rule, in the month of June 2020, only items (2) – (4) stated above will be enforced, subject that the originally signed claim from in the old format is available too.

2.3   Malta Development Bank: update to accredited commercial banks list

Malta Development Bank have updated the list of accredited commercial banks offering facilities under the COVID-19 Guarantee Scheme and the COVID-19 Interest Rate Subsidy Scheme.

The updated list may be accessed here.