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Any change in the corporate tax system and associated deadlines could have a negative impact on the financial industry, warned Partit Nazzjonalista.
In a statement signed by Shadow Minister for Finance Mario De Marco and Shadow Minister for Economy Kristy Debono on Monday, the opposition referred to media reports that the Cabinet would propose reform of the Maltese corporate tax system and the deadline for reimbursement by tx to international corporations from what is currently two weeks can be extended to one year.
On Monday, the Times of Malta reported that loopholes that could allow illegal funds to be laundered through the Maltese corporate tax refund system will be closed. According to the report, a national team of experts is working to close loopholes in the financial crime network. The proposal, if adopted, would reform Malta’s corporate tax system.
The PN said that while it reiterated its support for all anti-money laundering measures and the effective implementation of all such measures, it called on the government to ensure that any reform of the corporate tax regime is carried out in close coordination with the financial services industry representative bodies.
“On a matter of such national importance, the government should also be transparent about the results of the FATF, which have not yet been published and not disclosed to the opposition in the House of Representatives,” the PN said.
The opposition pointed out that the current corporate tax regime was one of the reasons for the “success and growth” of the financial services industry over the past twenty years.
“Any change in the corporate tax system and the deadlines set in it could have a negative impact on an industry already affected by Malta’s gray listing.”
The opposition accused the government of not consulting and contrasted the Labor Party’s approach with that of previous PN governments when the latter sought a bipartisan approach to the financial services and gaming industries through active and ongoing consultations with the opposition.
“The Labor government has stopped all forms of consultation on matters related to the financial services industry,” the PN said.
It added that any change in the tax system should take into account the importance of the financial services industry and the impact a change in the corporate tax system may have on the country’s tax revenues.
“The matter becomes even more relevant at a time when statistics from the NSO show last week that Malta’s deficit is among the highest in the EU at 12% of GDP.”