Malta: Formal transfer pricing rules published

Effective from 1 January 2024

Effective from 1 January 2024

Legislation implementing formal transfer pricing rules was published on 18 November 2022.

The transfer pricing rules:

  • Will be effective from 1 January 2024 and apply to related-party arrangements entered into on or after that date, including any arrangements entered into before that date which would have been materially changed thereafter
  • Will apply to arrangements between related parties (associated entities) defined as having 50% or more common direct or indirect participation rights in large multinational groups in scope for country-by-country (CbC) reporting, or 75% in the case of large multinationals excluded from such reporting
    • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as defined by the EU State Aid Regulations fall outside the scope in all cases
  • Will apply by reference to transactions or arrangements that are cross-border in nature, in the sense of taking place between a resident company and a non-resident company, or effectively connected to a permanent establishment (PE) of a company outside of Malta and a resident company, or between a non-resident company and the PE of another non-resident company in Malta to which the transaction is effectively connected
  • Provide for a de minimis threshold for total related party cross-border transactions of €6 million and €20 million revenue and capital respectively measured in the preceding financial year
  • Contain a carve out for securitization transactions

The introduction of transfer pricing rules means that entities having transactions falling within the scope will have to substantiate adherence of their related-party transactions to the arm’s length principle by demonstrating that such transactions yield a return that unrelated parties would derive in comparable circumstances. In other words, for tax purposes, related-party transactions need to fall within an arm’s length market price range because transactions outside said range could result in tax losses for one or more of the relevant jurisdictions.

The transfer pricing rules introduce a computational requirement, in that for in-scope entities for tax purposes, the total income would be computed under a deeming provision as though instead of the actual amount incurred, due, accrued or derived, the arm’s length amount in relation to that arrangement would have been incurred, due, accrued or derived. Furthermore, the rules expressly indicate that their effect is limited to income tax on corporate profits.

Further guidance is expected on the preferred transfer pricing methodologies, as well as on the relevant documentation obligations.

Renewable advance pricing arrangements, both unilateral and multilateral, with roll-back periods, are catered for.

Read a November 2022 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Malta



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