NM Group announces Sliema Wanderers F.C. Sponsorship

Local accounting firm signs on as a sponsor for Sliema Wanderers Football Club.

NM Group has proudly announced its sponsorship of the Sliema Wanderers Football Club and Nursery. This deal will mark a first between the firm, and Malta’s most successful football club, although the two are hardly strangers.

A local accounting and advisory firm, NM Group was founded 30 years ago by Noel Muscat, a longtime football lover, and sports advocate. The Muscat family has a longstanding history with Sliema, wherein Noel and his wife Silvana resided for a time, and their son Beppe played at all levels of Sliema’s youth academy and played with the first team for seven years. 

“Football, and sports in general, teach some of life’s most precious lessons – self-discipline, teamwork, focus and perseverance. These are values which we champion both on and off the field,” says NM founder, Noel Muscat. 

“We are really excited about this new collaboration with a club as prestigious as the Sliema Wanderers. 2021 marks NM Group’s 30th anniversary, and we’ve been working very hard at developing a clear vision for our future as a firm. Supporting excellence is a big part of that.” said Beppe Muscat, CEO of NM Group.

Not only will the team’s gear bear the NM Group logo, but the club’s premises at Tigne will be renamed as the NM Group Sliema Wanderers F.C. Sports Complex.

This sponsorship marks a new beginning for Sliema Wanderers, following some recent turbulence within its organisation. Sliema Wanderers Team Manager, Alex Muscat said “Our club is nothing if not resilient. We are looking forward to having NM onboard as our new partners as we seek out new collaborations that will reflect our standing and values. It’s our goal to turn things around and we can only do that with the support of serious partners, such as NM Group.”

The 2021 Budget: How will it affect your business?

The newly announced measures for Malta’s 2021 budget introduce a number of new incentives, as well as grant extensions to existing schemes for businesses.

Here’s a breakdown of the most salient 2021 Budget incentives:

Covid-19 Business Support Measures

⁃ The wage supplement has been extended until March 2021 (same form maintained until the end of the year), will then be revised in 2021.

⁃ Another round of €100 vouchers will be available from Jan 2021, in denominations of €10 and €15. Share to be used in retail shops has been increased to €40.

Increase on VAT-exemption threshold

The threshold for VAT exempt businesses will go up to €30,000 from €20,000

Extension of business schemes

Extension and continuation of Malta Enterprise Schemes such as Micro Invest, Business Development and Continuity Scheme, Research & Development 2020 Scheme, the R&D Feasibility Study Scheme and the Business Start Scheme will be extended.

Innovation Projects Scheme to be launched

Malta Enterprise will be launching a scheme to support innovation projects by companies employing less than 50 employees, whereby they can claim up to 50% of their expenditure (with a maximum of €200,000).

Assistance for start-ups & tourism industry

The government will be introducing schemes to help business start-ups, to encourage online business, and to help firms attract new foreign investment.  Assistance will also be given in the tourism sector for marketing.

Extra day of leave

All workers in Malta will now be entitled to an extra day of leave, bringing the total leave time to 28 days per annum.

Grants for agriculture

Government grants will be awarded to farmers and fisherman, equivalent to what they pay in tax on sales at the vegetable and fish markets.  

Extension of tax concession on transfer of business

1.5% tax concession on transfer of business has been extended for another year.

First-time buyers scheme & Property donations

The first time buyers scheme for reduced tax on property value has been extended from €175,000 to €200,000. Taxes on property donations are now tax exempt now on the first €250,000.

New saving bonds

The government is also planning to issue new savings bonds with favourable interest rates, specifically targeting savers aged over 62.

Tax rebate cheque

Following the success of the previous year’s handout, the Government will be once again gifting workers on the lowest incomes with a €95 cheque (previously €68), while those in the top category, earning up to €60,000 will get a refund of €45.

Cost of living allowance increase

A €1.75 weekly wage increase will be given as a cost of living adjustment. This also applies to pensioners in full and pro-rata to students.

Want to learn more about how a particular development will be affecting your business? Get in touch today to speak to one of our advisors!

Malta’s 2019 Budget: What’s in it for you?

Malta’s 2019 Budget

Following the reveal of Malta’s 2019 budget, it’s easy to get lost in all the hoopla that surrounds new proposals and developments – especially when the main question you want the answer to is ‘what’s in it for me?’ In this blog post we will be breaking down 4 new government incentives that will save you money, as well as a number of developments in technology, the property market and general economy.

Equity Sharing Property Scheme for over 40s

This new scheme will facilitate property ownership for anyone over 40 through purchasing property as a joint partner with the Government.

How would this work?

John is a 46-year-old professional and has been renting an apartment for a few years since separating from a previous marriage. With retirement occurring in less than 20 years, John has found it quite difficult to finance the purchase of an apartment through a commercial bank loan, as the loan can only be honoured until his retirement age.

Through the Equity Sharing scheme announced in the 2019 Budget, John would be able to purchase half the property, with the government purchasing the other half. This would result in more affordable monthly repayments. John would then have the option to either buy the other half from the Government or pay rent on the portion of property owned by the Government.

Reduced VAT on musical instruments

VAT rates on musical instruments has been reduced to 5%.

How would this work?

Gabriel is an 18-year-old student with a passion for music. Over the summer he has been saving up to purchase a guitar that costs €999 excluding VAT.

If he had to purchase the guitar before the 2019 reduced VAT measure kicks in, the guitar would cost Gabriel €1,179 (including 18% VAT). With VAT on musical instruments reduced to 5%, the guitar will cost Gabriel €1,049 in 2019, resulting in savings of €130.

Property transfer tax incentives for property owners

The Government will be launching property transfer tax incentives for property owners renting at affordable prices.

How would this work?

Claire has purchased a second apartment for €190,000 with the intention of renting it out for a number of years and eventually selling it off at €230,000, once it increases in value. Given the scenario, she would have to pay property transfer tax of €18,400 (8% of the transfer value) once the transfer is complete.

With the newly proposed property transfer tax, Claire would pay less than the €18,400 in property transfer tax.

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

  • A €2.33 weekly wage increase will be given as a cost of living adjustment. This is also attributable to pensioners in full and pro-rata to students.
  • Minimum wage workers to get €3 a week over-and-above COLA, provided they have been on minimum wage for at least one year

Further to this, the 2019 Budget also promises the following developments:

 
A rent reform white paper will be released to protect both property owners and property occupants through obligatory registration of properties and rental contracts.
This new government entity will focus on marketing Malta as a hub for digital economy and disruptive technologies.
 
The addition of an extra day of leave for full-time workers will bring the total number to 26 days of leave per year.
The government will be carrying out 45 actions over the next three years to strengthen the fight against money laundering.

Do you have any questions about the 2019 budget? Just drop us a line and one of our team members will get back to you as soon as possible!

Launching A Compliant Start-up In Malta

Coming up with the perfect idea for a start-up in Malta feels a lot like reaching the top of a mountain, but don’t pop the champagne bottles just yet – that’s just the very first step in your entrepreneurial journey.

We have already talked about the importance of due diligence and taking care of the legal side of things in previous posts, but today we’re going to dig a little deeper into the labyrinth-like world of compliance.

First things first: what is compliance? You’ll definitely hear this word from time to time when you’re setting up your business. In its broadest sense, ‘compliance’ refers to your ability to operate according to a set of rules and/or laws; it’s basically doing what you need to do to make sure everything is above board.

In the world of finance, compliance can be said to work on two levels:

  1. Compliance with any external rules or regulations applicable to a business or organisation as a whole
  2. Compliance with internal structures created and imposed to align with any external rules or laws

Why is it so important to do things the right way in terms of compliance?

Even though legal compliance is central to starting a real business, you’d be surprised to know how many new companies shoot themselves in the foot by ignoring or forgetting about this part of the process. The benefits of being compliant far outweigh the risks, which include anything from a hefty fine to jail time. Long story short: don’t skip out on compliance, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a pricey mistake to make and when you’re just starting out, every euro counts.  

Getting Started with Compliance

At NM Group, our lovely team of experts know exactly what to do when it comes to launching a fresh new business and helping it get the best possible start right here in Malta. Our advisors are second to none when it comes to taking care of the technical side of starting a business. It’s our job to make sure your success is built on solid ground so that you can enjoy long-term success–that’s why we cover everything from compliance to payroll, legal advice, funding, and beyond. When it comes to compliance procedures specifically, the most important points to cover include:

  • VAT registration: any person or entity who carries out commercial activity must be registered with the VAT department – even if you are exempt.
  • VAT reporting: if you are charging VAT then you also need to keep a record of this. VAT reporting must be carried out monthly.
  • MFSA: if you would like to register your venture as a company, then this must be done through the MFSA.
  • Tax payments and NI: being your own boss means having to pay your own taxes and national insurance, along with that of your employees.
  • Audits: By law, every company registered in Malta must engage an external entity to carry out a financial audit.
  • Jobsplus: You as well as your employees must be registered with Jobsplus

These are just a few important processes that our team can take care of to make your life easier and put your start-up en route to success. If you’re looking to learn more about launching a start-up in Malta or simply want some advice on how to make sure you’re following the letter of the law, get in touch with one of our consultants today!

How to Make Your Start-up Work in Malta

You have a great idea for a start-up in Malta – but will it work?

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

When it comes to starting your own business, stumbling across that perfect moment of inspiration (the moment where you’ve uncovered that golden idea that’ll set you apart from everyone else) – that’s just the beginning of what could turn into a really successful start-up. It is already a well-known fact that the perfect mix of creativity, vision, originality, determination and hard work are essential if you want to get your start-up off the ground. But how much do you know about the little details behind it all?

First Steps: Turning Ideas into Action

So what’s a ‘good idea’ and how do you make it work? We’ve all heard the expression ‘there’s no such thing as a bad idea’, and while that might be true, not all ideas work when it comes to building a business from scratch. There are various factors that make an idea ‘good’ – or rather, viable – but the best way to know if yours could work would be to ask yourself some serious questions, and answer them as honestly as possible. Once you’ve done that, start turning your dream into reality and get in touch with us! Here are a few questions to get you started:

  1. What are you offering your customers or clients?
  2. Does your business or product solve a problem? If yes, how?
  3. Does your idea do something to change the status quo?
  4. Are there other businesses offering a similar service or product?
  5. What makes you different?
  6. Can you list 5 key benefits of your product or service?
  7. Why should customers choose you?
  8. Can you ‘sell’ your idea in 30 seconds or less? Give it a shot!
  9. Have you analysed your potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? (this is known as SWOT analysis)
  10. Is your idea financially viable?
  11. Is it financially worthwhile?
  12. How much capital do you need to get your business off the ground?
  13. What will it take to break even or make a profit in the first year?
  14. Do you require bank financing/facilities?
  15. Have you considered the cashflow aspect of the project?
  16. Are there any potential investors around? If so, how will you pitch your idea to them? What makes your idea profitable in their eyes?
  17. Have you identified potential distributors or partners who you can trust?
  18. Can you get your social media presence up and running, or do you need help?

Next: Making It Official

Once you’ve got your ideas on paper and a clear plan for your start-up, the next big step is making it all official. Like with most ‘official’ things in this world, company incorporation or registration involves its fair share of paperwork, bureaucracy and legal jargon that can be difficult to get through alone and efficiently. As a fully-licensed corporate services provider, we’ll be there to guide you through the process and advise you on everything required to get your great idea registered through all the right channels, making the process as stress free as possible for you and ensuring that you get the correct corporate structure the first time round!

Lift Off: Taking Care of Business

There are quite a few important details to take care of before you unveil your brand-new company to the world. If you’re starting a new business in Malta, we can help you find the right bank to open accounts with, make sure you’re eligible to register under the Malta Tax Refund System, and take care of your annual returns – of course, these are just a few key processes that our team can do to make our clients’ lives easier. Once you’re up and running, our highly-experienced advisors can help you to manage the financial side of your operation, including:

  • financial and cashflow projections
  • local and EU funds

Additionally, you will need to keep track of performance and take corrective action when necessary. We can provide you with relevant and actionable guidance so as to ensure the long-term success of your business.

As you go along, you will also need to make sure that your company abides by legal obligations to report to local authorities, including the MFSA, and the VAT and the Inland Revenue Departments. We’ll be there to assist you with the full compliance of your business with the relevant regulations.

If you have any questions about opening a start-up in Malta, get in touch with one of our advisors today!

What does Malta’s 2018 budget mean for your business?

Malta’s 2018 Budget

This week saw Finance Minister Edward Scicluna reveal Malta’s 2018 budget.

Here are just a few highlights of what this budget means for you, your business, and your staff.

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

A €1.75 weekly wage increase will be given as a cost of living adjustment. This is also attributable to pensioners in full and pro-rata to students.

Income Tax

Income Tax Benefits

Individuals whose income is less than €60,000 per annum, will receive a one-time tax refund ranging between €40 and €68, depending on the level of income as shown below:

Single Computation
Income (€) Refund Amount (€)
0 – 15,000 60
15,001 – 30,000 50
30,001 – 59,999 40

 

Married Computation
Income (€) Refund Amount (€)
0 – 20,000 68
20,001 – 40,000 56
40,001 – 59,999 44

 

Parent Computation
Income (€) Refund Amount (€)
0 – 15,000 64
15,001 – 30,000 52
30,001 – 59,999 40

 

MicroInvest Tax Credits

MicroInvest is being extended to undertakings which employ less than 50 full-time employees (currently 30). In addition, the tax credit capping is expected to rise from €30,000 to €50,000 for undertakings based in Malta and from €50,000 to €70,000 for undertakings based in Gozo and for undertakings with women holding the majority of shares or self-employed women.

Tax Evasion

Fines payable by companies or individuals which have been found guilty of tax evasion shall be increased. Moreover, more resources shall be allocated to Joint Employment Task Force to combat tax evasion.

Employment Measures

Increase in Minimum Wage

Minimum wage earners will receive an increase of €3 per week from the second year of employment and an additional €3 per week from the third year of employment. Such employees will also be entitled to the increase in COLA.

Additional one day leave

An extra day of vacation leave shall be granted to all employees.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT Exemption

The VAT exemption threshold below which a taxable person registered under Article 11 does not need to charge VAT has increased from the current €14,000 to €20,000.

VAT Grouping

The Government is proposing the introduction of VAT Grouping for sectors such as financial services and gaming. Through VAT grouping, entities which are legally independent, have a permanent establishment in Malta and engage in related economic and administrative activities, can register as a single entity. This would mean that supplies between group members will fall out of the scope of VAT.

Reduced VAT Rate on certain means of Transport

The VAT rate for hiring bicycles will be reduced to 7% and the VAT refund scheme on motorcycles, scooters and pedelec bicycles will be extended.

VAT Refund on Car Registration Tax

During 2018, VAT will be refunded to those who registered their vehicle in 2007.

Offset of Payments

A new system will be introduced which will allow the offset of payments due to/from Government. This will be applicable for companies that offer services to Government.

Property Measures

First-Time Buyers Scheme

The tax scheme for first-time buyers resulting in no duty due on the first €150,000 will be extended for another year.

Second-Time Buyers Scheme

Individuals who sell their first residential home, being their sole owned immovable property, and acquire another shall benefit from a refund of a maximum of €3,000 of the duty on documents paid on the acquisition of their second home. This refund shall increase up to a maximum of €5,000 in the case of disabled persons and their parents.

White Paper on Property Rental

A white paper to reform the rental market shall be published in the coming months. This white paper will necessitate the public registration of all rental contracts and that rent increases are regulated through conditions in the contracts made. This will be done to protect the rights of both the lessor and the landlord.

Social Measures

  • The maximum ‘in-work benefit’ applicable to parents where only one parent is employed, will increase from €350 to €450 per child per year depending on the annual income of the family.
  • The €300 annual grant for persons over the age of 75 who still live in their personal home, will continue to apply next year.
  • In order to incentivise the use of environmentally friendly vehicles, an exemption from registration tax for electric/hybrid vehicles will be introduced. No road licence shall be paid on such vehicles during the first five years from registration.

Pensions

  • All pensions, both contributory and non-contributory are set to increase by €2 per week.
  • As of 2018, individuals aged 61 or over who are in receipt of a pension and who are still in employment, and thus paying contributions, shall be entitled to have their pension recalculated at the age of 65 to include the contributions paid between the age of 61 to 65. Such an entitlement shall be available to pensioners who have not paid their complete social security contributions during their employment.
  • Self-employed and part-time pensioners who have not reached the age of 65 shall be entitled to pay their social security contributions at the rate of 15% on the net income on a pro-rate basis.