With uncertainties across the global economy, the world’s wealthier citizens are diversifying their investments offshore to spread their exposure and risk. The Mediterranean island of Malta has become an attractive destination for tax-free investments, especially for South Africans in the current economic climate, says Malta resident and investment advisor, Merle Whale, who is currently visiting South Africa to host investment and relocation seminars.
“Malta is a very attractive destination for investment and retirement. There is no death tax in Malta and Malta residents are afforded protection from double taxation within a network of taxation treaties,” Whale explains.
Whale is South African but has lived in Malta for 10 years, sharing her residency experience and advice with other South Africans considering retirement, relocation or investment in the island nation.
“Non-citizens living in Malta are taxed only on their Maltese source of income and capital gains, and not on their total global income. Foreign source capital gains are not taxed even if remitted to Malta.”
Malta has positioned itself to take advantage of the global retirement market, as well as the investment market wanting to diversify assets. There are a variety of residency programmes, from the Malta Retirement Programme; Ordinary, Long Term and Temporary Residence; a Global Residence Programme; and a Highly Qualified Persons Programme.
“The property market is also dynamic and non-residents who wish to invest a lump sum offshore, are advised to consider Malta, as there are lucrative opportunities in the buy/rental market,” says Whale.
“There are no council taxes, low rental taxation, and high demand for rental properties. Anyone can own a property in Malta, even without residency.”
A huge benefit, says Whale, is that English is widely spoken on the islands, and contracts are in English. “If you decide to purchase a property in Malta for an investment, there is no death tax, only a small death duty of 5% on immovable property; with buy to rent, there is only a 15% tax on that income in Malta; no council tax; insurance is low; and there is no charge for garbage removal or sewage, only water and electricity.”
Malta offers an enviable lifestyle with some of the best residency schemes and citizenship by investment programmes, in Europe – and without additional hidden costs,” Whale explains.
Malta also enjoys popularity as a top global destination to retire in, prioritising safety, health services and a competitive cost of living, with favourable residency/citizenship options.
“Because the island is so small, there are big drives for key business focuses around tourism, financial services, fund management and the aviation industry. iGaming is also big business in Malta; it’s also attractive for pharmaceuticals as it is easier for them to register product here within the EU, and Malta also boasts the largest registration of pleasure boats in the Mediterranean.
“I am seeing significant numbers of South Africans investing overseas and comfortably living off the money they invest offshore. Some are selling their homes in South Africa, investing in property elsewhere and living off the rental income, while renting another property locally.
“And with Brexit, Malta is giving all British citizens a 10-year Visa. No other country within the EU has done that.”
Seminars are being held on the following dates across SA to discuss the Malta investment options. BOOKING is essential:
JOHANNESBURG: 10 March 2020, 2.30pm & 6pm, Balalaika Hotel.
DURBAN: 12 March 2020, 2.30pm & 6pm, The Oyster Box.
CAPE TOWN: 16 March 2020, 2.30pm & 6pm; Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.
Limited pre-booked one-on-one consultations are available after each session
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