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COVID – 19: MALTA GOVERNMENT SUPPORT MEASURES (21/03/2020)

Covid-19 has reached the Maltese Islands and indeed our economy, businesses and the community in general have been hit.

The Maltese Government has through The Revenue Department and Malta Enterprise issued an Aids Package and Incentives for business with the aim of sustaining the economy, strengthening business liquidity and maintaining a strong level of employment.

Fiscal Assistance – Tax Deferral

A tax deferral scheme has been introduced with the aim of easing pressure on business cash flow and encouraging retention of employees.

The eligible taxes are:

  • Provisional tax
  • Employee taxes
  • Maternity fund payments
  • Social security contributions
  • Self-employed social security contribution
  • Value Added Tax

Any of the above falling due in March and April 2020 may be deferred and are to be settled (except for VAT) in four equal monthly instalments in the four months of May, June, July and August 2020.

VAT dues are to be settled in two equal instalments with the two quarterly returns immediately following the quarter whose dues would have been deferred.

There will be no interest or penalties charged in respect of the above taxes deferred under the terms of this scheme.

Beneficiaries

Companies and self-employed suffering a significant downturn in their turnover, as a consequence of economic constraints arising as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and consequently face substantial cash flow difficulties.

Specifically excluded

Companies and self-employed persons who have failed to comply with their tax obligations falling due by 31 December 2019.

Forfeiture of benefit

Beneficiary found in breach of terms and conditions of this scheme under false pretences.

Application

An application form available on covid19.maltaenterprise.com should be submitted by not later than 15 April 2020.

Applicable Sectors

  • Education
  • Event planning
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Hairdressing, body treatment and physical well-being activities
  • Transport
  • Manufacturing
  • Other sectors at the discretion of the authorities

Quarantine Leave Scheme

Employers will be given a grant of €350 for each employee on mandatory quarantine leave.

More details in respect of the scheme including how to apply and relevant guidelines will be available as from 25 March 2020.

Other Measures related to Employment

A grant of 2 days salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800) is being given, to employees and self-employed persons suffering from a complete suspension of operation in certain industries. Self-employed individuals having employees get a three-day grant.

A 1-day salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800) is being given as a grant to employers where business operations are reduced by at least 25%.

Termination of employment with effect from 9 March 2020 shall attract an increase in unemployment benefit of up to €800 per month.

Measures have been introduced to the employment of third-country nationals.

Jobsplus is providing a new service to assist individuals who have been terminated and to employers seeking to employ new individuals.

Assistance relating to work permits is also being given to third-country nationals.

Other Measures of Assistance are addressed to

Persons with disabilities who are vulnerable to Covid-19 and who had to stop work

– €800 per month for a specified period.

Families with school-aged children, where both parents work and are unable to work remotely

– €800 per month government benefit for a period of up to 2 months.

Rent subsidy Individuals living in subsidised accommodation whose employment has been terminated

– Government is to increase rent subsidy.

Teleworking Activities

This is a call for the facilitation of teleworking activities, falling under the Business Development and Continuity Scheme.

Employers and self-employed are being assisted to partially cover the costs of teleworking solutions:

  • Applicable to undertakings irrespective of size and sector
  • Cash grant
    • €500 per teleworking agreement
    • €4,000 per undertaking

The grant is awarded against 45% of the eligible costs incurred between 1 March 2020 and 30 March 2020.

Application for such grant must be filed with Malta Enterprise by the 30 March 2020.

This grant is subject to the de-minimis regulations (which means €200,000 per single undertaking over a period of 3 rolling fiscal years, in the case of Road Freight Transport €100,000).

Other

Local banks are also giving moratoria on existing facilities to worst hit industries decided on a case by case basis and can also assist on new facilities to ease cash flows through government supported facilities. Personal loans may upon application to the respective branch be considered for the granting of a moratorium period.

How can we help

Our office is well versed on the above supported measures and we can assist you should you feel the necessity to avail yourself of any of the above.

Kindly contact any one of the partners for assistance.

David Busuttil – Managing Partner: [email protected]

Hector Spiteri – Senior Partner: [email protected]

Lorraine Muscat – Partner: [email protected]

Donatella Bondin – Partner: [email protected]

We urge you all to keep referring to our space for updated information regarding any further incentives that the government may issue from time to time.