Micro Invest Scheme 2021

Eligibility

The scheme is open to all undertakings.

Applications are accepted if all the below criteria are satisfied:

  • In the year when the costs were incurred, the undertaking did not employ more than 50 full time employees. Verifications are done with Jobsplus.
  • In the fiscal year preceding the year when the application is submitted, the turnover or annual balance sheet total of the applicant did not exceed €10 million.
  • At the date of application, the undertaking must at least employ 1 person on a full time or part time basis. Being registered as self-employed with Jobplus is considered to be sufficient to meet this condition.
  • Unless exempted, the undertaking should be registered for VAT.

Incentive

A tax credit of 45% of the eligible expenditure is approved to the undertaking. An additional 20% is approved if the beneficiary operates from Gozo.

The maximum tax credits awarded to each undertaking is capped at €50,000 over a period of 5 consecutive fiscal years. The capping is increased by €20,000 for undertakings that: operate from Gozo; registered as Family Business, having more than 50% of ownership attributed to female persons.

The Micro Invest incentive scheme falls under the de minimis regulations.

Eligible costs

Increase in wage costs

An eligible undertaking may apply for a tax credit on an increase in wage costs that exceed 3%, calculated by deducting from wage costs incurred in the relevant fiscal year, the highest annual wage cost incurred in the preceding two (2) fiscal years.

Furbishing and refurbishing of Business Premises

Costs incurred for material and services procured from a third party to carry out furbishing, refurbishing and upgrading (including extension and modifications) of Business Premises.

When the works are carried out by the undertaking itself or its employees, the undertaking can apply for the purchase of material if it provides photographic evidence of the works carried out.

For works incurred in 2021, Malta Enterprise will only approve costs incurred on business premises covered by one of the following Planning Authority licences:

CLASS 3A – Guest Houses, Palazzini, Boutique Tourism

CLASS 3B – Hotels

CLASS 3C – Assembly and Leisure

CLASS 4A – Financial, Professional and Other Offices

CLASS 4B – Retail

CLASS 4C – Food and Drink Establishments where no cooking is allowed

CLASS 4D – Food and Drink Establishments where cooking is allowed

CLASS 5A – Light Industry

CLASS 5B – General Industry

CLASS 5C – Specialised Industry

Applications for refurbishment of short-term accommodation facilities is only supported if the premises is covered by a valid permit issued by the Malta Tourism Authority.

Investment costs

  • Acquiring new (or first time used in Malta) machinery, technology, apparatus and instruments.
  • Systems intended to produce alternative energy or improve energy efficiency unless receiving other state aid support (including non-market based feed in tariffs).
  • Tangible and intangible assets required for digitisation of the business operation. Eligible costs may include:
    • Computer hardware
    • Development costs for new software systems, websites and digital applications. In these cases the undertaking must submit the agreement with the supplier specifying the parameters and functionality of the systems/website/application being developed. Maintenance costs are not eligible.
    • Costs incurred in relation to the undertaking’s websites developments, updates and enhancement. In these cases the undertaking must submit documentation specifying the additional functionality being acquired indicating the cost of such development. Applicants must submit an agreement with the supplier specifying the parameters and functionality of the systems/website/application being developed and agreed upon prior the start of the development.

Motor Vehicles costs

Undertakings may claim on purchase of any commercial vehicle which is new or first time registered in Malta, having a European Emission Standard rating of at least Euro 5. If an undertaking had not claimed the cost of commercial vehicles in 2019 and 2020,  it may in 2021 claim the cost of 1 commercial vehicle which is new or first registered in Malta even if such vehicle does not comply with the Euro 5 standard.

The commercial vehicle should be:

  • involved in the carrying of goods (category N1, N2 or N3 motor vehicle);

or

  •  Special Purpose Motor Vehicles – any vehicle that is designed specifically to support or enable an economic activity.

or

  • any vehicle that is designed specifically for the carriage of ten (10) or more persons.

Certification Costs

An undertaking can claim costs incurred in 2021 to attain certifications relevant to its business. This includes the advisory provided by unrelated parties and the actual certification costs. The certifications shall result in the attainment or the extension (if applicable) of any of the following certifications:

i. CE Markings

ii. ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems

iii. ISO 14001 Environmental Management System

iv. ISO 50001 Energy Management

v. ISO 22000 Food Safety Management

vi. HACCP

Important documentation

Tax invoice OR Fiscal receipt.

Application deadlines for cost incurred in 2021

 Primary deadlineLate submissions deadline
   
Self-employed23rd March 202214th December 2022
   
Companies25th May 202214th December 2022

Tax certificates validity

Tax credits awarded in 2022 may be utlised up to YA 2025. In all other cases, unless extended through other provisions, the tax credit may be utilised by the third year of assessment commencing from that specified on the Incentive Entitlement Certificate.

With regards to start-ups, unless extended through other provisions, the tax credit must be utilised by the fifth year of assessment commencing from that specified on the Incentive Entitlement Certificate.

Subject to other specific provisions, a start-up is defined as an undertaking that has been established for less than four (4) years as determined from date of registration with the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) or the date the person registered with Jobsplus as self-employed.

Extension of previous years tax credit certificates

Due to COVID implications, those beneficiaries that have unutilised tax credits certificates that expire in YA 2021-2023, can request Malta Enterprise to extend the certificates to YA 2024-2026.

Central Bank of Malta Issues Directive on the Use of Cheques and Bank Drafts

On the 7th of July 2021, the Central Bank of Malta issued Directive No. 19 on the use of cheques and bank drafts, the provisions of which shall become effective as of the 1st of January 2022. The Directive’s aims are parallel to Malta’s action plan to curb money laundering and financial crime and shall incentivise a shift towards less paper-based modes of payment.

The main points and changes brought about by the Directive are the following:

  • Each cheque issued must include the date of issue, the sum to be paid in words and numbers as well as the details of the payee and the signature of the person issuing the cheque.
  • All cheques shall have a validity of 6 months from the date of issue.
  • Instruments with the words ‘Or Order’, which allow for the paper-based instrument to be endorsed by third parties shall be phased out and will be discontinued from the date of coming into force of the Directive.
  • Cheques may only be issued for amounts exceeding €20.
  • When cheques are issued in favour of natural persons, banks and payment service providers may only pay up to €5000 in cash. Should the indicated amount on the cheque exceed €5000, then this shall only be transferred directly to the payee’s account. In the case of companies, all cheque amounts shall always be transferred directly to the payee’s account.
  • It is emphasised that the bank or payment service provider may decline to cash cheques that are issued by same payer to the same payee over a short period of time if these cheques form part of the same obligation.
  • If the payee does not hold an account with the bank or payment service provider, then the latter institutions will only pay an amount up till €5000 in cash.
  • Banks have the power to suspend cheque facilities to a drawer if, in the span of 12 months, 6 cheques presented were unable to be fulfilled either due to lack of funds or because the cheque did not contain all the information mentioned in the Directive. This suspension shall be for a minimum of 24 months from the effective date of suspension. Penalties will also apply in this case. 

Should any further information be required, please do not hesitate to contact 3a Malta on info@3amalta.com.

Eco friendly retail investment grant

This Investment grant is issued to support the reduction of packaging and single use plastic through bulk dispensers and reusable containers.

Who is eligible?

The applicant must be a limited liability company with the Malta Business Register, partnership or self-employed engaged in the wholesale or retail of groceries, detergents, toiletries and other goods that may be sold in bulk to the final customer.  The below 3 criteria must be met:

  1. Applicant must not have any dues related to VAT, Income Tax and Social Security which are older than twelve (12) months;
  2. Applicant must not be engaged in activities specifically excluded under the de minimis Regulation (as per section 8 of the investment guidelines as per link provided at end of summary); and
  3. Applicant must have at least one full time employee registered with Jobsplus (a full time self-employed person is considered to meet this criterion).

What is the maximum support

  • Eligible investment shall cover 50% of the eligible expenditure up to a maximum grant of €20,000 per project.
  • The Eco-friendly Retail Grant is a de minimis measure, the total amount of de minimis aid granted to a single undertaking shall not exceed the amount of €200,000 (or €100,000 in in the case of single undertakings performing road freight transport for hire or reward) over a period of three consecutive fiscal years.

What costs are eligible?

  • Dispensing equipment;
  • Rental of Retail space;
  • Reusable containers;
  • Reusable containers, collection points, cleaning and sanitisation facilities; and
  • Procurement and development of Software systems.

How do I apply

  • Applicants must contact Business First to discuss the application;
  • When submitting the application, the applicant will be required to provide full details of costs to be incurred. The figures need to be substantiated by market research and possible by quotations;
  • Application may be downloaded from the Corporation’s website and submitted via the client portal with any other additional documentation as may be required.

Deadline to apply

  • The applications may be submitted from the 1st June until 30th November 2021.

What happens once the application is submitted

  • Malta Enterprise will evaluate the application in terms of the Incentive Guidelines.  The evaluation will take into consideration the objectives of the scheme and how the applicant will be achieving such objectives.  The Corporation has full discretion on the approval of projects.
  • Malta Enterprise may request further clarifications to the applicant at application processing stage;
  • Once approved the Corporation will issue a letter of approval specifying the terms and conditions of the Grant. The letter will include details on implementation and monitoring.

If you would like to find out more you can email our advisory team on tonio@3a.com.mt