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Duty relief on acquisition of the first immovable property

Recent amendments to the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act (Cap 364 of the laws of Malta) have been announced in the last budget, which were targeted to various individuals. Furthermore, various forms of tax relief have been granted, including a duty relief to individuals who acquire their first immovable property in Malta.

Legal Notice 393 of 2013 states that individuals who acquire their first immovable property in Malta shall now benefit from a duty relief with regards to the first one hundred and fifty thousand euro (€150,000) of the value of the immovable property, provided that certain conditions are satisfied. Previously, immovable property acquired by first home buyers was subject to a duty payment of 3.5% on the first one hundred and fifty thousand euro (€150,000) of the higher of the value or consideration paid, of the immovable property in question. In brief, first home buyers shall now save up to €5,250, which previously they had to pay as duty payment.

The legal notice specifies that it must be the first immovable property acquired inter vivos by such individual in order to qualify for the duty relief. Hence, if an individual has already acquired an immovable property inter vivos, such individual shall not qualify for the duty relief.

EU nationals may now acquire their first immovable property in Malta and benefit from the said duty relief.

The duty relief is granted to any individual who enters into the final deed of transfer on or after the 5th November 2013 but before the 31st December 2014. The relief granted shall not apply to any transfer of immovable property where a notice of a promise of sale or transfer relating to such property has been given to the Commissioner before 1st July 2013.