Legal Notice 29 of 2021 has amended the Highly Qualified Persons Rules (the ‘HQP Rules’) with effect from 31 December 2020.
Firstly, non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who remain in Malta beyond the four-year period shall no longer be subject to the claw-back of benefits.
Furthermore, the possibility of a one-time extension of the benefit, for a period of five years in the case of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals, and a period of four years in the case of third country nationals, has been increased to two extensions of the respective periods. Such extension shall not however, exceed a consecutive period of fifteen, or twelve years, as the case may be, from the year preceding the first assessment in which such person was first liable to tax. Which period has been increased from the previous maximum periods of ten, or eight years respectively. Nonetheless, the amended rules maintain that the extension shall not be available to persons who were resident in Malta prior to 1 January 2008.
Finally, the HQP Rules have been extended for a further five years and no further determinations by the competent authority may be issued before 31 December 2025, which determinations shall refer to employment benefits which commence by 31 December 2026, and cease to apply by 31 December 2030.