Skip to main content Skip to search

Archives for November 2018

The end of Single Malt structures

On the 27 November 2018, it was announced that an agreement was reached between Malta and Ireland which ends the Single Malt structures.  These were being used through the transfer of the management and control of Irish incorporated entities to Malta.   Through a Competent Authority Agreement, Malta and Ireland agreed that the purpose of the Double Taxation Convention (DTC) is to eliminate double taxation and not create the opportunity for double non-taxation.  Thus, deeming a company incorporated in Ireland but managed and controlled in Malta to be tax resident only in Malta, does not serve the purposes of the Double Taxation Convention as income was not being brought to charge in neither Malta nor Ireland when the income was not remitted to Malta.  Accordingly, such an Irish-incorporated company will be tax resident in Ireland and the relevant payments to it will come within the charge to Irish corporation tax.


The agreement will come into force with effect from taxable periods beginning on or after the expiration of a period of six months from the later of the dates on which the Multilateral Instrument (MLI) enters into force in Ireland and Malta.  Malta endorsed its agreement with reservations to the MLI through Subsidiary Legislation 123.183 and ratified the MLI on the 18th December 2018.


The Agreement provides the following:

From the coming into effect of the MLI with respect to the DTC between Ireland and Malta (the “Contracting States” in relation to that DTC), where – 

  • for the purpose of avoiding double taxation, under paragraph 3 of Article 4 of the Ireland-Malta DTC a company would be deemed to be only resident in one of the Contracting States, but
  • in the circumstances concerned – 
    • there is no double taxation to be avoided, and
    • it is reasonable to conclude that an opportunity for double non-taxation would otherwise arise,

then any such deeming of the company to be resident only in one of the Contracting States shall not be for the purposes of the Ireland-Malta DTC – as it would serve no such purposes.  It would be superfluous to, and redundant for, those purposes.  

The Competent Authorities shall notify each other in a timely manner where they become aware of circumstances to which this Competent Authority Agreement refers.

Read more

Taxation of DLT Assets

The Maltese Tax Authorities issued guidelines in connection with the income tax, VAT and duty on documents implications arising from transactions or arrangements involving DLT assets.


The following is a list of definitions included in the guidelines:



The general income tax principles contained in the Income Tax Act apply to transactions involving DLT assets.  The guidelines serve to provide clarifications regarding the income tax treatment of a number of transactions or arrangements involving DLT assets.

The following is a summary of the tax treatment of transactions involving DLT Assets:


The following is a summary of the income tax treatment of transactions in coins:


Coins fall outside scope of Article 5 of the Income Tax Act and therefore they are not considered to give rise to any capital gain for income tax purposes.


The following summarises the tax treatment for the return on financial tokens:


The following outlines the tax treatment arising from the transfers of financial and utility tokens:


The distinction between trading income and non-trading income may not always be evident.  It may therefore be necessary to refer to the badges of trade to determine whether the income received falls within the definition of trading income or not.  Such determination is crucial to assess the tax treatment of transferred tokens.

The following portrays the tax treatment applicable for initial offerings:


Value Added Tax (VAT)

The general VAT principles applicable to taxable events also apply to transactions or arrangements involving DLT assets.  Maltese VAT rules apply only if the place of supply of a transaction or arrangement is deemed to be Malta.  Furthermore, the chargeable event would only arise where a supply of service is made for a consideration by a taxable person acting as such and there is a direct link between the consideration payable and the supply made and where there is reciprocal performance between the suppliers and the recipient of the service.


The following is a general overview of the VAT treatment of transactions involving DLT assets:


If a token contains features of both a financial and a utility token (also referred to as a hybrid token),  then the VAT treatment depends on the use of such token.  A hybrid token used as a utility token then it is to be treated as such, while if in another occasion the same token is used as a coin, then it needs to be treated as such.


When treated as a voucher, the consideration paid for a utility token shall be deemed to be gross of VAT due.  Another important issue to determine is when the token is subject to VAT:


The guidelines provide clarification as to whether initial offerings are subject to VAT or not:


In case of electronically supplied services rendered to non-taxable persons established in other Member States, the supplier may opt to register and account for VAT through the Mini-One-Stop-Shop system (MOSS) to facilitate the administration for the payment of the VAT within the EU.


Duty on Documents and Transfers Act (DDTA)

The following is a summary of the DDTA implications arising with respect to transactions involving DLT assets:

Read more