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Maltese report Maltese report
by Euro Reporter
2008-11-17 09:18:30
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Drilling is planned

Two offshore oil exploration wells are to be drilled by 2011, according to plans disclosed on Thursday by the Oil Exploration Department. In reaction to comments made by Labour MP Joe Mizzi in parliament just a few hours earlier, the department said the government was making every effort to promote and sustain exploration activity in offshore Malta.

Heritage Oil International Malta Ltd., signed a Production Sharing Contract with Government in December 2007 and is contractually obliged to drill at least one firm well by 2010. Another company, Malta Oil Pty Ltd., signed a similar Production Sharing Contract with Government in July 2008 and is also contractually obliged to drill at least one firm well by 2011. The Department also noted that oil companies interested in entering into a production sharing contract with Government are required to have adequate financial and technical capabilities to ensure that they fulfill the contractual obligations.

Alaska is saved now with Obama; let’s see who’s going to save Malta!


Talk about tax evasion

The European Commission has adopted today an amending proposal to the Savings Taxation Directive, with a view to closing existing loopholes and eliminating tax evasion. Since 2005, the Savings Directive ensures that paying agents either report interest income received by taxpayers resident in other EU Member States or levy a withholding tax on the interest income received. The Commission proposal seeks to improve the Directive, so as to better ensure the taxation of interest payments which are channelled through intermediate tax-exempted structures. It also proposes to extend the scope of the Directive to income equivalent to interest obtained through investments in some innovative financial products as well as in certain life insurances products. Moreover, simplification of the technical operation of the Directive should lead to a more user friendly system and more efficient implementation.

László Kovács, Commissioner for Taxation and Customs, said: “The first report on the operation of the Savings Taxation Directive concluded that the Directive, although effective within the limits of its scope, can be easily circumvented. The current scope of the Directive needs to be extended, in order to meet our goal of stamping out tax evasion, which affects the national budgets and creates disadvantages for the honest citizens.” The first review of the Directive has shown that, at present, it is relatively easy for individuals to circumvent the rules by using interposed legal persons or arrangements (like certain foundations or trusts) which are not taxed on their income. As far as interest payments are made by paying agents (banks, financial institutions, independent professionals, etc.) established in the EU to certain intermediate structures established outside the EU, the Commission proposes that paying agents in the EU (who know, under the anti-money laundering provisions that the beneficial owner of the interest payments is an individual resident in the Union) apply the provisions of the Directive (exchange of information or withholding tax) at the time of the payment to the intermediate structure, as if this payment was directly made to the individual.

Concerning payments of interest to certain intermediate structures established within the EU, including some non-charitable trusts and foundations, those structures will be always obliged to act as a “paying agent upon receipt”. This means that the provisions of the Directive (exchange of information or withholding tax) must be applied by these structures upon receipt of any interest payment from any upstream economic operator (bank, financial institution, independent professional), no matter where they are established and regardless of the actual distribution of any sums to the individual beneficial owners.

Everything regarding tax is …interesting and important!

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