16th September 2020

Malta Enterprise has updated its guidance with respect to certain incentives, recently granted to business operators to help minimise the effect of the instability brought about by COVID-19 pandemic, as well as introducing some additional support measures.

Electricity Bill Refund

Businesses / self employed individuals eligible for the Wage Supplement are also entitled to a grant of up €1,500 per commercial account, covering 50% of the electrical power costs covering the period July to September 2020. Business that have multiple energy accounts (because they operate from multiple sites) may claim additional support, capped at €7,500.

Application deadline has now been set at 29th September 2020.

Rent Refund

Tenants eligible for the Wage Supplement may benefit from this incentive. An eligible undertaking may claim rental costs of up to €7,500 of annual rent on up to 5 licenced business premises as detailed below. The premises must be rented from third parties specifically for the carrying out of economic activities.

Application deadline has now been set at 9th October 2020.

Micro Invest Cash Conversion

As from 1st September 2020, Malta Enterprise is emailing applicants under the Micro Invest Scheme informing them that they may opt to receive part of the tax credit as a cash grant. The first to receive these emails will be those applicants who still have not received a Tax Credit Certificate, as a result of which said Certificate shall thus be issued with the correct amount.  Applicants who have already received a Tax Credit Certificate are to receive an email informing them as to the fact they may opt for the cash grant later on in the month. The cash grant option is not recommended for applicants who intend to fully utilise the Tax Credit Certificate against tax due.

Investment Aid for ‘COVID-19 Relevant Products’

Malta Enterprise may provide a cash grant not exceeding 80% of the eligible costs to support undertakings in carrying out investment projects to increase or initiate production of COVID-19 relevant products or to diversify existing production to be able to produce COVID-19 relevant products.

The scheme can be availed of for investments related to COVID-19 related products that are completed within six months from ‘Start of Works’. Eligible costs are costs incurred after 1st February 2020 falling within the following categories: i) Tangible and intangible assets procured to develop, manufacture and provide COVID-19 relevant products, ii) Wage costs of personnel engaged to design and develop tools, processes and solutions for the production and manufacturing of COVID-19 relevant products, iii) Wage costs of personnel engaged to develop data collection and processing tools (including AI solutions) supporting the medical profession and the general public in issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, iv) Costs incurred for trial runs of the new (or diversified) production facilities such as cost of materials required for trial runs of production facilities and cost of data sets acquired to test data processing and collection solutions.

The scheme is open till 31st December 2020 (no further approvals can be issued after this date).

Business Re-Engineering Consultancy

Malta Enterprise will be providing up to €5,000 to every business, allowing them to embark on a reengineering exercise, specifically entailing professional assistance to put together new business plans and to explore new technological solutions with approved companies. The allocated budget will reach €2.5 million and will support the further use of technology by local businesses, in line with the country’s drive towards an increased digital economy.

Further information, guidelines and the relative application forms are expected to be made available soon.

Export Credit Guarantee

As Malta’s traditional markets may be weaker as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, diversification into new markets such as the African continent, Middle East, and Latin America is key to local businesses in terms of increasing their economic resilience going forward. Malta Enterprise is committing €10M towards an export credit guarantee scheme administered by the authority to further support businesses in penetrating new markets.

Further information, guidelines and the relative application forms are expected to be made available soon.

Modernisation of Equipment – Construction

The construction sector has been identified as yet another key sector of Malta’s economy impacted by the pandemic.  The Government also wishes to incentivise operators in this sector to invest in more modern, efficient and environmentally friendly machinery.  Malta Enterprise will therefore be allocating €4M for this purpose, with businesses being entitled to support capped at a maximum of €200,000 per application.

Further information, guidelines and the relative application forms are expected to be made available soon.

Skills Development Scheme

The existing Skills Development Scheme’s budget will receive a top-up of €5 million, which top-up shall be directed towards those businesses that employ fewer than 50 persons. The aim is to support primarily in-house training and the sharing of skills between the more experienced and younger employees.

Further information, guidelines and the relative application forms are expected to be made available soon.

How can we help?

We are monitoring developments on an ongoing basis and will provide further updates as more information becomes available. Meanwhile, should you require any assistance relative to how your business may benefit from COVID-19 related incentives, the Economic Stimulus Package, Malta’s Financial Aid package and the various Malta Enterprise support measures generally, please do not hesitate to reach out to us personally.

For more information, please contact Dr. Rosanne Bonnici, Tax Partner, on rosanne.bonnici@fenlex.com.

©Fenech & Fenech Advocates 2020

Disclaimer │ The information provided on this Update does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All information, content, and materials available are for general informational purposes only.  This Update may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and you are advised to seek updated advice.