Archive for July, 2015

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Our first half of the year was like this…

In on July 31, 2015 by NEWCO

NEWCO

During the first half of 2015 Malta was highlighted by various entities thanks to the excellent performance of its economy, while Madeira finally received the eagerly-awaited boost to put its economy back on the right track. Indeed, the tax regime approved for the International Business Centre (IBCM) until 2027 will make Madeira fiscally competitive once again, reinforcing its capacity to attract foreign investors and allowing IBCM to enhance its role as economic development instrument, which it was created to perform.

At NEWCO we continue to grow! In March we opened an office in Madrid in order to be closer to our clients, which in the near future will allow us to expand our range of solutions for your business.

This is what the first half of the year was like for us: replete with new developments within the jurisdictions where we are present and within the company itself. If you were unable to keep up with them over the past six months, don’t worry! You can read or reread the highlights in our blog:

 

News

Malta with the second highest public debt reduction in the EU

Double Taxation Treaty between Portugal and Colombia

Madeira´s IBC regime guaranteed up to the end of 2027

We’re growing with you

NEWCO distinguished with leadership award

Understanding the Maltese legal system: an interview with Rosanne Bonnici

Chinese Group considers Portugal the best country in Europe to invest

S&P upgrades Malta’s outlook to positive

Madeira’s new tax regime is now in force

 

Guides and Brochures

New Guide: Living in Malta

New Guide: Shipping in Madeira

Advantages of Malta for internationalizing companies

Update to our Madeira Brochure

 

Webinars

International Tax Planning for Investments in Portuguese speaking Africa

Madeira’s new tax regime

 

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S&P upgrades Malta’s outlook to positive

In on July 27, 2015 by NEWCO

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Standard & Poor’s has revised Malta’s outlook upwards from stable to positive while re-affirming its overall rating at BBB+.

Commenting on the report, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna remarked: “Standard & Poor’s’ decision to upgrade the outlook to positive re-affirms the solid performance of our economy and prospects for the upcoming years. Of particular satisfaction is their remark about the Government’s success in reforming key sectors, mainly the energy sector, and the concrete efforts to diversify the economy. We are also pleased to note the favourable comments in relation to Malta’s low exposure to Greece, with the agency stating that events in Greece will not have material bearing on Malta’s credit profile.”

In its latest report, Standard and Poor’s noted the strong economic growth performance in 2014 and expressed its view that this momentum is set to continue in the coming years, with Malta’s economic growth outpacing that of the Euro Area. The agency expects this positive performance to be sustained by a strong inflow of investment. Standard & Poor’s also acknowledges the diversification of our economy, particularly in medical tourism. This confirms Government’s vision to explore new sectors that can give Malta a competitive edge and sustain our growth model.

Standard & Poor’s also commented on public finances, confirming the downward trend of both the budget deficit and the debt ratio. The agency believes that Malta’s budgetary consolidation will continue in the coming years, primarily owing to increased revenue from strengthening domestic demand and a decline in expenditure. It expects the debt ratio to decline to 62.8 per cent in 2018.

Standard & Poor’s comments on “Malta’s economic growth prospects, solid external prospects … and gradual budgetary consolidation, which will place the government’s debt-to-GDP trajectory on a steady downward course” are indeed encouraging.

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New Guide: Living in Malta

In on July 21, 2015 by NEWCO

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Summer has only just arrived in the northern hemisphere, but the hot weather brings with it dreams of holidays in paradise.

Thanks to its rich and varied history, approximately 350 sunny days per year, exceptional seafront and extremely welcoming people, Malta is a country that quickly wins over its visitors’ hearts. It is little surprise, therefore, that it has been listed by the Travel & Leisure magazine as one of the best places to travel to in 2015. But the country is not only top of the wish-list for tourists. In recent years Malta has become one of the most popular destinations for foreigners, ex-pats and professionals who want to establish themselves within a competitive legal framework in a country that provides not only a high quality of life but also advantageous tax and business benefits.

In our new Living in Malta guide, we outline the main qualities of this European country and explain the residence and tax benefit programmes for those dreaming of a place in the sun… and not only during holiday time. Download it now!

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According to Expansión, Portugal is a haven for Spanish investors

In on July 17, 2015 by NEWCO

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According to the highly-regarded newspaper Expansión, Spanish investors have discovered the benefits of living in Portugal and the number of questions regarding the tax regime for non-habitual residents has sky-rocketed in Spain recently. According to the article published this week and which can be read here in its entirety, “Our neighbouring country offers many benefits that range from its close geographic location to lower real estate prices, while also having one of the most attractive tax systems in the EU, without being considered a special taxation territory or tax haven.”

A special tax regime for non-habitual residents was created in 2009, in order to attract high-net-worth individuals to Portugal. This new, more favourable personal income tax regime for non-habitual residents will apply for a period of 10 consecutive years.

Expatriates, who establish their tax residence in Portugal but have not had resident status during any of the previous five years, are not considered to have habitual residence in Portugal. As a general rule, anyone who spends more than 183 days per year in Portugal acquires residence for tax purposes. The same is true even if they spend less time in Portugal, but possess, on any given day during the year, housing under conditions that indicate an intention to maintain it and occupy it as a habitual residence.

Under this regime, income is taxed as follows:

INCOME SOURCE OUTSIDE PORTUGAL

As regards income from “non-Portuguese” resources, the non-habitual-resident tax regime implements an exemption mechanism as long as certain conditions have been met. These conditions can vary according to the type of income in question.

Income from Work – As regards income from work, this exemption applies whenever income is subject to taxation in another country with which Portugal has signed a double taxation treaty.

Income from Pensions – As regards income from pensions, the regime is very attractive, allowing pensions to be received in Portugal without taxation. In fact, this exemption applies whenever income is subject to taxation in another country with which Portugal has signed a double taxation treaty, or the source of the income is not considered Portuguese, as per Portuguese domestic law. This regime only applies if the person in question has not made contributions in Portugal toward the social security system that pays the pension.

Corporate income, capital income, capital gains and rental income – In such cases (excepting corporate income), the exemption applies whenever income is taxable in another country with which Portugal has signed a double taxation treaty; or, in the absence of a double taxation treaty, the income is taxable in another country, region or territory in accordance with the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital, interpreted in accordance with the observations and reservations made by Portugal, and the income is not considered to be from a Portuguese source, in accordance with Portuguese domestic legislation. In relation to corporate income, the exemption shall only apply to services that are considered to be of added value of a scientific, artistic and technical nature, or intellectual property and transfer of know-how.

INCOME SOURCE IN PORTUGAL

Income from a Portuguese source from services that are considered to be of added value of a scientific, artistic and technical nature (salaried and independent workers) shall be taxed at a fixed rate of 20%.

Examples of professions listed in the table of high value-added activities for the purpose of applying the non-habitual resident regime:

Corporate executives / research and development in biotechnology, physical and natural sciences / scientific research and development activities / data processing activities, domiciliation of information and related activities; web portals / information services activities / programming activities, IT consulting, management and operation of IT equipment / biologists and specialists in life sciences / designers / psychologists / teachers / physicians / tax consultants / artists, musicians, painters, etc. / architects and engineers

With the application of this regime and taking into account the characteristics that have made Madeira a destination of excellence with a mild climate, security, quality of life and modern and efficient infrastructure, Portugal and Madeira offer unmatched conditions for attracting high value-added entrepreneurs or professionals and retirees. To find out more about all these benefits, download our guide Living in Madeira.

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Malta leader in eGovernment services in the EU

In on July 15, 2015 by NEWCO

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Malta has just reconfirmed its position as leader in supplying eGovernment services among 33 countries (the 28 European Union (EU) countries, Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey). These were the results of the “Benchmark Report 2015” study published this week by the European Commission and conducted by the companies Capgemini, IDC, Sogeti and Politecnico di Milano. As was the case last year, Malta scored significantly well and it is the only country to consistently reach the highest performance level in the various indicators analysed.

This study measures four indicators and compares the results obtained by the various countries analysed. The first indicator is User Centricity and indicates the degree of online availability of information and the usability of such information. Malta ranked first for these two variables and in the overall indicator scored 95%, 22% higher than the EU average.

The second indicator, Transparency, indicates the degree to which governments are transparent in relation to their responsibilities and the performance of online services. For this indicator, Malta earned a score of 97%, well above the average score of 51% obtained by the other EU countries.

The third indicator, Cross Border Mobility, assesses the degree to which that information is accessible to citizens from other Member States. Lastly, the Key Enablers indicator assesses whether technical tools related to electronic identification and electronic documents, among others, are available. In these indicators Malta scored 88% and 97% respectively, ranking among the top countries analysed in all cases.

Malta was the only EU Member State that ranked at the top for these indicators, a ranking that was much welcomed by the Maltese authorities. Their “Digital Malta: National Digital Malta 2014-2020” strategy will continue to improve their capacity to supply digital services to all sectors of society. In fact, according to official sources, Maltese authorities have decided not to rest on their laurels and have already begun to analyse various recommendations made by the European Commission in their reports, regarding aspects that go beyond this comparison exercise between European countries.

The benefits of this investment in the development of their eGovernment services are undeniable for operators and investors: in addition to the convenience and ease of access to information, costs of interaction with public services are lower, while efficiency, reduction of bureaucracy and the speed with which the desired information is obtained are vital aspects for those who operate in international markets.

You can access the full report (in English) here: www.bit.ly/EUeGovBenchmark15

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Madeira’s new tax regime is now in force

In on July 2, 2015 by NEWCO

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New entities can now be authorized to operate under the new tax regime applicable to the International Business Centre of Madeira (IBCM), recently approved by the European Commission. Law nº 64/2015, published yesterday in the Government Gazette (Diário da República), approves the new regime applicable as of the 1st of January 2015 and amends the Portuguese Statute of Tax Benefits, adding article 36-A.

With this new regime, entities authorized to operate within the IBCM will benefit from a 5% corporate income tax rate, one of the lowest within the European Union, among several other advantages:

  • Benefits guaranteed until the end of 2027;
  • Withholding tax exemption on the distribution of dividends and the payment of interest, royalties and services;
  • No capital gains tax on the sale of the Madeira company nor on the sale of its subsidiaries;
  • 80% reduction on the rates of Stamp duty, Real Estate Transfer Tax (IMT), Municipal Property Tax (IMI), regional and municipal surcharge.

From an operational point of view, Madeira offers a pro-business environment, with state-of-the-art infrastructures, specialized and efficient service providers, a qualified and multilingual workforce, at very competitive costs.

For more information on this new tax regime feel free to watch our webinar recording on this topic, or contact us. We shall be pleased to provide additional information on all the advantages of operating through the International Business Centre of Madeira.

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