Malta Overview

The Maltese Islands
The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the centre of the Mediterranean - 93km south of Sicily and 288km north of Africa. It consists of three main islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino over an area of 316sq km and a coastline of 196.8km (not including 56.01 km for the island of Gozo). As at December 2005, Malta's population was 402,668 of which 199,580 are male and 203,088 are female.

Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo is the second largest island and is more rural, characterized by fishing, tourism, crafts and agriculture while Comino is mostly uninhabited.

The Maltese Islands enjoy a superbly sunny weather, beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history. With a little help from any guidebook, captivating places of interest are immediately identified - the world famous Hypogeum selected as a place of World Heritage by UNESCO, prehistoric temples and grand palaces in the capital Valletta and the old silent city of Mdina are but a few.

The long relationship between the Islanders and the various nationalities that occupied Malta over the centuries has created a marriage of styles and traditions, giving the Islands a fascinating eclectic culture.

The climate is typically Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers, warm and sporadically wet autumns, and short, cool winters with adequate rainfall.

The temperature is very stable, with monthly averages ranging from 12°C (54°F) to 31°C (88°F).

Both English and Maltese are official languages with Italian being widely spoken.

Everywhere you go in Malta, you can find evidence of its rich historical past. Temples, catacombs, palaces, cathedrals and forts are some of the visible evidence left by many through the ages including the Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Knights of St. John, the French and the British. The myriad of civilizations that have swept through Malta, along with its geographical position between Africa and Europe and its fantastic natural deep harbours have contributed to Malta's unique culture.

Safe and Friendly
It is well known that Malta is a remarkably safe country. The low crime-rate coupled with the Mediterranean lifestyle and weather; result in the Maltese having a well earned reputation as a friendly nation.

Currency & Banks
The official currency in Malta since January 1st 2008 is the Euro. There are a number of commercial Banks. These are normally open until early afternoon from Monday to Friday, and until midday on Saturday. Some banks/branches work longer hours. Summer and winter opening hours may differ.

Exchange bureaux at Malta International Airport are open 24 hours a day. International bank cards are widely accepted and foreign currency is easily exchanged. Banks, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and exchange bureaux can be found all over the Islands.

Medical care in Malta is available through both public and private hospitals and the quality of medical care in Malta is excellent.

All EU nationals resident in Malta are eligible for free medical treatment from state hospitals and health centres, which can be found in most localities.

Malta also has reciprocal agreements with a number of countries whereby visitors from those countries are eligible for free emergency medical treatment at the state hospitals.

Work permits for expatriates
Law requires a work permit for all foreign nationals.

Work permits are issued for specific periods (normally one year) and for specific purposes following a failed attempt to engage a suitable Maltese citizen.

Work permit is automatically granted to all EU nationals while non-EU applicants have to satisfy a number of criteria as follows:

  • Applicants must secure an employment offer.
  • Applicant must have a special skill or qualification.
  • A significant demand for that area of expertise or specialization must exist.

Accompanying Documents Required

  • Application Form
    • EU/EEA/Swiss
    • 3rd Country National
  • Copy of a valid passport
  • Letter of employment including full job description from employer

Work permits are normally issued for a period of one year but should the employer specifically request and provide justification, it is possible for the licence to be valid for 3 years.

If the applicant is a significant investor (40% or more) in the manufacturing or financial sector, the work permit may be issued indefinitely.

Residence Permits
The applicant's spouse and/or dependants are automatically issued a residence permit on the granting of a work permit.


Cost of living
Being one of the least expensive places to live in Europe, groceries, clothing, furniture and utility services are all very reasonably priced.

In Malta the taxation of an individual's income is progressive, that is the higher an individual's income, the higher the tax s/he pays, starting at 0% and rising in stages to 35%. There are reduced rates of taxes for certain income earners.

  • An individual who is a Maltese Resident pays tax on his income as a wage earner or as a self-employed person. A person who meets the criteria of a "permanent resident" (usually, a stay of more than 183 days a year) will be taxed on his income in Malta and overseas. A foreign resident who is employed in Malta pays tax only on the income he earns in Malta.
  • An employer is obliged to deduct at source, each month the amount of tax payable on a salary
  • Certain payments are deductible from the taxable income of an individual that are allowable for tax purposes.
  • Separate calculations - A couple each with separate sources of income may report separately on their income, however one of the couple must be nominated as "the representative partner" for the purposes of the tax authorities.
  • Passive income, such as rental of an asset, is attributed to the one of the couple having the higher income.

Reporting Dates for an Individual

  • The tax year is the calendar year ending on December 31.
  • The date for filing an annual return is August 30.
  • During the year, a self-employed person must make 3 equal advance payments on April 30, August 31 and December 31. The advance payment is based on the taxable income for the previous year.
  • Should there still be tax payable, it should be paid by the August 31 following the end of the tax year.
  • An employed person whose employer has deducted monthly tax from his salary is not bound to file an annual return. Nevertheless, an employed person must submit a declaration by June 15.
  • A similar declaration must be filed by an individual in respect of his income from a pension, dividend from a local corporation, and income from an investment in respect of which tax of 15% was deducted at source.

Tax Bands
The following tax bands are applicable for employees:

Married rates

on the first €11 400 €0 - 11 400 Nil
on the next €9099 €11 401 - 20 500 15%
on the next €7499 €20 501 - 28 000 25%
on the remainder €28 001 and over 35%


Single computation rates

on the first €8150 €0 - 8150 Nill
on the next €5849 €8151 - 14 000 15%
on the next €4999 €14 002 - 19 000 25%
on the remainder €19 001 and over 35%



Gaming tax - Companies
Over the past few years Malta has successfully established itself as one of the top European jurisdictions attracting a large number of online gaming companies.

There are four classes of licenses:

  • Class 1 - Online Gaming License
  • Class 2 - Online betting office license or an online betting exchange office license
  • Class 3 - License to promote and abet gaming from Malta
  • Class 4 - License to host and manage online gaming operators, excluding the licensee himself

In all cases the total maximum of tax payable per annum by one licensee in respect of any one license shall not exceed €500,000.


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