Duty on Documents and Transfers Act (DDTA)
Type of Tax
In scope instruments
Marketable securities: any share, stock, debenture, bond and any interest in any company or corporation and any document representing the same (Article 2 of the DDTA).
Taxable event (transaction)
Transfer of marketable securities.
Territorial connection for liability – condition for taxability is:
Residence of issuer?
Location of transaction (e.g. traded on local stock exchange)?
The document whereby marketable securities are transferred must be executed in Malta or, if it is executed outside Malta, “used’’ in Malta. A document is deemed to be used in Malta if it is produced:
- before a court, an arbitrator a referee as evidence;
- before any person or authority in Malta for the enforcement or registration of its content.
A document executed outside Malta will only be chargeable to stamp duty if it would have been so chargeable had it been executed in Malta.
Location of party (e.g. at least one party to the transaction is resident)?
Residence of financial intermediary?
Other relevant conditions for taxability
No stamp duty is charged, inter alia, on:
- transfers of securities listed on the Malta Stock Exchange (article 2(g) of the Exemption from Payment of Duty on Documents and Transfers Order);
- inter vivos transfers of foreign marketable securities to persons resident in Malta effected through a local bank or a person holding an investment services license under the Investment Service Act (ISA) (article 42(1)(a) DDTA);
- transfers of securities in, to or by companies which carry on, or intend to carry on, business or have, or intend to have, business interests to the extent of more than 90 percent outside Malta;
- transfers of securities in, to or by collective investment schemes holding a collective investment scheme license under the ISA;
- transfers of securities in, to or by persons holding an investment services license issued under the ISA, and whose activities comprise the provision of management, administration, safekeeping or investment advice to collective investment schemes as defined in the aforesaid Act;
Person responsible for collecting/remitting tax
Liable persons and other persons such as intermediaries, brokers, agents, notaries.
The transferor - in a transfer inter vivos - and the transferee are jointly and severally liable to pay the duty.
Where the transfer is effected by public deed, the notary publishing the relative deed is jointly and severally liable to pay the duty chargeable on such transfer or deed.
Person who in practice bears the tax
Transferee, but not important for the survey since the exemptions are widespread
In order to transfer securities in Malta (mostly in the context of shares) a private agreement is required for shares issued by a Maltese company, and a notification is filed with the Registry of Companies.
Penalties in case of failure to file/pay
Fine. Moreover, the document will not be legally admissible in evidence, except in criminal proceedings
Amount of consideration or real value (whichever is the highest).
5 percent if 75 percent or more of the company’s or partnership’s assets consist of immovable property.