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The special tax regime for Non-habitual residents in Portugal

In on September 19, 2018 by NEWCO

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The characteristics of Portugal and its various regions are reason enough to justify a new life in this country, but the tax advantages on offer are the icing on the cake for anyone who wishes to invest and live in Portugal, including in Madeira.

In this Guide, we explain the advantages of the special tax regime available to non-habitual residents, and how investors with international activities can take the best advantage of these tax benefits.

Download now!

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Portugal: The legislation on the Legal Regime governing the Central Registry of Effective Beneficiaries has been published

In on September 14, 2018 by NEWCO

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Ordinance no. 233/2018, which regulates the Legal Regime governing the Central Registry of Effective Beneficiaries (RCBE), has been published. Among other aspects, this ordinance defines the way the form on effective beneficiaries is to be declared and submitted, information is to be provided and authentication procedures are to be used for obligated entities, as well as the respective search criteria and the terms for obtaining information and certificates from the database.

It is also established that the initial declaration of entities subject to the RCBE, which have already been established at the time of this decree coming into force (specifically 1st October 2018) will be done in phases, under the following terms:

  1. a) the entities subject to the commercial register by 30th April 2019;
  2. b) the remaining entities subject to the RCBE by 30th June 2019.

The first phase for initial declaration begins on 1st January 2019.

We wish to emphasise that the Legal Regime governing the Central Registry of Effective Beneficiaries (RCBE), approved by Law no. 89/2017 of 21st August, transfers chapter III of Directive (EU) no. 2015/849 relating to the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or financing terrorism into domestic law, under the terms of which the member states are now required to ensure the identification of all individual persons who own or control a corporate body.

The RCBE is made up of a database with sufficient, accurate and up-to-date information on the individual person or people who own or have effective control of entities subject to it, even where this is indirectly or through a third party.

The full text of the ordinance can be read here (in Portuguese).

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Moody’s affirms ‘A3 positive’ rating for Malta

In on August 29, 2018 by NEWCO

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Moody’s ratings agency has affirmed its ‘A3 Positive’ rating for Malta, with a positive outlook. Moody’s highlighted sustained progress by Malta on public sector debt reduction and the prospects for further fiscal consolidation on the back of a buoyant economic performance. It said it will upgrade the rating for Malta to A2 if the improvement in fiscal strength is sustained.

In a commentary, it noted Malta’s strong economic growth, rising per-capita income and high scores in terms of global competitiveness. “While its small size and openness make it susceptible to external shocks, Malta is able to weather such storms due to the high level of competitiveness as well as elevated wealth levels,” it said.

Malta’s institutional strength was deemed ‘high’.

Moody’s considered Malta’s susceptibility to event risk, stemming from the banking sector primarily, as ‘low’, based on the relative size of the sector in the economy and the financial soundness of the domestically oriented institutions, amongst others. The report explains that while growth, is expected to moderate from recent highs, it notes that Malta’s economic growth will remain strong in both 2018 and 2019.

Sources: Times of Malta, FinanceMalta

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Double taxation treaty between Portugal and Barbados

In on August 27, 2018 by NEWCO

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According to Notice 107/2018, published in the Government Gazette on the 24th of August 2018, the necessary formalities were complied with, for implementing the Convention for avoiding Double Taxation between Portugal and Barbados, signed in London on the 22nd of October 2010.

Under the terms of art. 29 of this Convention, it has come into force on the 7th of October 2017.

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Malta Approves Three Blockchain and Crypto-related Bills

In on June 29, 2018 by NEWCO

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The Maltese Parliament has unanimously approved three digital ledger technology and crypto-related bills on the 26th of June, thus becoming the world’s first country to have put in place a legal framework for the creation of a regulatory body in the sectors of Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and IOT devices.

The Government had already announced recently that it was working closely with the industry to come up with a legal framework that satisfies the Anti-Money Laundering and KYC regulations, without stifling technology innovation in such a highly dynamic sector. With the publication of these Bills, Malta is now unquestionably the right place to set up crypto-currency exchanges, ICOs and related activities.

The three bills include the Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Bill, the Virtual Financial Assets Bill, and the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill. The first two bills provide for the regulation of digital ledger technologies (such as blockchain) and virtual financial assets in Malta under the supervision of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority.

The third bill establishes the Malta Digital Innovation Authority in order to “promote consistent principles for the development of visions, skills, and other qualities relating to technology innovation” as well as support regulations of the sector.

In addition to the passing of the three bills, the Government has also appointed the first chief executive of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, Mr. Stephen McCarthy, who has worked in accountancy and iGaming before serving as CEO of the Housing Authority in the past few years.

These recent developments are a clear proof of Malta’s commitment to be at the forefront in the regulation of this sector, and will clearly contribute to the fast growth of new companies, that will occur as soon as subsidiary regulations that are to supplement these new laws are published.

Please contact us for more information on how to benefit from Malta’s advantages for international operations.

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Malta’s Participation Exemption regime even more competitive

In on June 28, 2018 by NEWCO

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Recent changes to Malta’s “participation holding” concept have improved the competitiveness of the Maltese (already quite flexible and comprehensive) participation exemption regime.

In practice, the equity holding test still requires that at least one of 6 conditions are satisfied (the conditions are outlined here) but the shareholding percentage in the subsidiary has been reduced to 5% (formerly 10%) which holding entitles to at least 5% of any two of the following rights:

i) right to vote;
ii) profits available for distribution;
iii) assets available for distribution on a winding up.

Another relevant change is that, where one does not have an equity holding in a ‘company’ (as defined), one may now consider 2 new classes of entities in which a Maltese resident company has a holding for the purposes of this definition, namely:

Class A – Maltese entities:

The partnership en nom collectif;

  • The partnership en nom commandite, whether or not its capital is divided into shares (one exception – for partnerships with shares set up prior to 2015 whose share capital is divided into shares);
  • A registered civil partnership set up in terms of the Civil Code;
  • A European Economic Interest Grouping – EEIG;

in all cases, provided the entity in question has elected to be taxed as a ‘company’ in terms of Article 27 of the Income Tax Management Act.

Class B – non- Maltese entities:

Any ‘body of persons’ (as defined) constituted, incorporated or registered outside Malta AND of a nature similar to a Maltese limited liability company;

Any ‘body of persons’ (as defined) constituted, incorporated or registered outside Malta AND of a nature similar to:

  • A Maltese limited liability company
  • A partnership en nom collectif;
  • A partnership en nom commandite, whether or not its capital is divided into shares (one exception – for partnerships with shares set up prior to 2015);
  • A registered civil partnership set up in terms of the Civil Code;
  • A European Economic Interest Grouping – EEIG;

in all cases, provided the entity in question has elected to be taxed as a ‘company’ in terms of Article 27 of the Income Tax Management Act.

Thanks to its legal, operational and tax environment, Malta is one of the European Union’s most competitive jurisdictions for the development of international activities. Learn more about its advantages here: http://www.newco.pro/en/malta

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NEWOFFICE – new offices with shared services

In on June 21, 2018 by NEWCO

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The speed and ease of setting up their companies in new jurisdictions has been one of the factors increasingly highlighted by our clients. In response to this growing concern, NEWCO is now offering furnished offices with shared services in Madeira and Malta. This will mean our clients can begin their activity in a space dedicated to their team without the demands of investing in a fully autonomous office.

NEWCO’s offices include support for reception and administrative services, IT and telecommunications structure, IT support, electricity, internet and telecommunications, cleaning services and proximity to the NEWCO team, which handles the necessary outsourcing of services.

Come and discover your new place in Madeira and Malta: NEWOFFICE

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Additional protocol to the DTA between Portugal and India

In on June 1, 2018 by NEWCO

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The protocol signed in Lisbon on 24 June 2017, amending the convention between the Government of the Portuguese Republic and the Government of the Republic of India for the purpose of avoiding double taxation and guarding against tax evasion as regards income tax (signed in Lisbon of 11 September 1998),  has been approved.

The amendments introduced serve to reinforce the conditions and forms of cooperation between the authorities of both States as regards tax-related matters. Enabling an adequate exchange of information, this will foster more effective control of the financial flows between the two countries.

The amended protocol contains a new provision relating to the exchange of tax information. Under this provision, the competent authorities of the two States will exchange information that is likely to be relevant for the application of the convention or for the administration or application of domestic legislation relating to taxes of any nature or denomination charged in benefit of the contracting States, their political or administrative subdivisions, or local government, insofar as the taxation provided for in them does not contravene this convention.

Any information obtained by a State will be considered confidential in the same way that information obtained pursuant to that State’s domestic law would be. Such information may only be disclosed to the people or authorities (including courts and administrative authorities) in charge of the liquidation or collection of the taxes, or the declarative or executive procedures, or appeal decisions, relating to these taxes, or their control. Such information may be disclosed during public court hearings or judicial decisions.

The full text is available for consultation online at: https://dre.pt/application/conteudo/115392182.

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New Guide: Holdings in Spain (ETVE)

In on May 16, 2018 by NEWCO

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The Entities Holding Foreign Securities (ETVE) are companies that reside in Spain and that are entitled to a special tax regime. The regime governing these entities is one of the most competitive in the EU, since under certain circumstances, not only does it not tax income from foreign sources obtained by the holding company, but it does not tax income that the holding company distributes to its non-resident shareholder or income that arises when the shareholder in question transfers his or her share in the holding company. This regime is one of the main tax advantages that Spain offers for foreign investors.

Learn more about it in our new Guide to holding companies in Spain.

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Financial Services Sector now represents 11% of Maltese economy

In on May 9, 2018 by NEWCO

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According to the annual report of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), which has just been published, the financial services sector now represents 11% of the Maltese economy. In 2017, Malta’s economic growth rate continued to be higher than the European Union and Euro Zone averages, with the increase in service exports being the main driving force behind this economic expansion. The financial services sector has remained robust and solid, growing in size, diversity and attractiveness, and is today a fundamental pillar of the Maltese economy.

The MFSA’s annual report also highlights the fact that 5,297 new companies were registered in 2017, an increase of 2.5% year-on-year. Additionally, 109 companies from other jurisdictions were redomiciled.

The full report is available for consultation online at: https://mfsa.com.mt/pages/viewcontent.aspx?id=45

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