Friday 23 April 2010

International: Malta announces tax exemption for patent royalties

The Maltese Government approved a number of changes to their tax laws on 16th April 2010 – of particular interest on IP is the news that, with immediate effect, royalty and similar income derived from qualifying patents in respect of inventions will be exempt from Malta income tax (subject to conditions still to be announced, including a cap on the maximum amount that may be exempted – and the EU may well have some comments on the matter).

Malta has been reasonably tax-efficient for IP income, but this will put the country on a par with Ireland for patents, depending on the level of the cap. Under EU pressure, Ireland extended its exemption on patent royalty income to include royalties received in respect of non-Irish patents granted after 1 January 2008. A similar cut-off date for the Maltese exemption would seem to be likely, if only to appease the EU.

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