Incentivising enterprises to invest

Last year, a benefit was introduced to recognise the investment that was undertaken by a group of companies to sustain businesses impacted by COVID.

A scheme was introduced to provide for a benefit on investments impacted by the pandemic that can be used to net off against income tax for companies that remained sustainable.

“We want to recognize and provide peace of mind for all that in Malta investment is rewarded,” Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said in Parliament on Monday evening while delivering the Budget 2023 speech.

For this reason, the scheme is being extended for another year. Companies that benefited from capital allowances that were not absorbed or used in 2020 and 2021 due to loans accumulated over the pandemic can apply for this benefit that sees a reduction of taxes against taxable income, by any companies that form the same Group, for 2022 (Assessment year 2023).

Shipping costs

Last year, Government extended an incentive which subsidised rent over for a “large number” of eligible businesses. This led to around €700,000 in direct assistance for Maltese and Gozitan businesses, the Minister said.

From 2023, businesses will benefit from financial assistance of €50,000, up from €25,000 annually, for the first three years.

The measure is also being extended so that businesses can benefit from this scheme over a period of six years, up from three.

Due to an increase in shipping costs, several businesses have tried to order larger volumes of goods at a go, spreading the increase in costs over a wider range of items, keeping costs down.

Simplification

Government has launched a committee to work alongside stakeholders on the right for businesses to have a bank account. Work is also being undertaken to set up a Credit Review Office that will balance the interests of commercial banks and its clients with regards loan applications. A proposal for the creation of a repository of due diligence is also being studied.

New opportunities for investment

Cabinet has approved the launch of calls for expression of interest with the aim to see the Evans Building and the Pixkerija, both in Valletta, as well as Chalet in Sliema, be given “new life”.

“We want to see projects that respect the value of the area, that are also sustainable and create new opportunities. More sites are also being explored.”

Concessions for the transfer of family businesses

The measure which saw a reduction in stamp duty from five per cent to 1.5 per cent for family business transfers to the next generation is being extended.

Gaming

The gaming sector employs roughly 11,000 people, the Minister said, which figure goes up to 16,000 when factoring in companies providing services to the industry.

Earlier in 2022, specialised training for the Unity Centre of Excellence programme for teachers to train students in the industry of video game development was set up.

After work on a start-up incubator was complete within the gaming sector, known as basecamp, by the end of 2022 will be populated with companies working from there.

Residency schemes for foreign investor

Minister Caruana said the time has come for Malta’s residency schemes to be revised. The Global Residence Programme and Malta Residence Programme will be evaluated and updated, if necessary.

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