In addition to abundant sunshine and warm winters, Malta is an excellent expat destination thanks to the easy banking and relatively low taxes. The island country is renowned for its advanced financial sector and is also an offshore banking haven.
Money in Malta
The Maltese currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents.
Notes: 5 EUR, 10 EUR, 20 EUR, 50 EUR, 100 EUR, 200 EUR and 500 EUR
Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents and 1 EUR and 2 EUR
Banking in Malta
Most Maltese banks will open an account for new arrivals that have not yet finalised their residency, even though banks with no foreign interests are likely to take longer. International banks are accustomed to the workings of expat finances, although choosing an account with fewer services can expedite the process.
Expats who need banking access as soon as they arrive will have to research the processes and requirements ahead of time. There is a lot of inconsistency in documentation requirements – not only between banks, but sometimes even between individual branches of the same bank. Generally speaking, expats will need a deposit, their passport, proof of address and a reference from their previous bank to open a Maltese account. But, it is always best to double-check with the relevant branch ahead of time.
ATMs and credit cards
ATMs are available all over the islands, near retail shops and restaurants. Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted, but expats who want to use a debit card should ensure it has international authorisation.
Taxes in Malta
Malta's tax planning and asset protection policies are major drawcards for many expats, but the benefits vary widely. In general, income tax in Malta is fairly low, ranging up to 35 percent. Expats who fulfil certain conditions – including owning or renting a property within a specific threshold or those working in the gaming, aviation or finance sectors– will only be required to pay 15 percent of tax on their income.
Malta is in a rather unique situation concerning living off savings, as capital gains can be remitted tax-free. We recommend enlisting the services of a reputable wealth manager for navigating the sometimes tricky details of finances and retirement in Malta.