Malta is an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea, a former British colony. Malta’s economy is built on tourism, financial services. Foreign investors are attracted by the possibility of obtaining a residence permit, as well as preferential taxation. Small companies are exempt from the obligation to prepare audited financial statements and may prepare a condensed version of the balance sheet, profit and loss account and notes to the accounts.
(From 1 500 EUR)
(From 1 500 EUR)
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Accounting requirements in Malta are analogous to British requirements. Accounts must be made in accordance with the EU Single Accounting Directive and in accordance with the Companies Act 1995. This Directive was incorporated into Maltese legislation by introduction of the General Accounting Principles for Small and Medium-Sized Entities (GAPSME). However, directors of small and medium-sized entities can still apply the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) adopted by the EU.
Annual accounts must give clear representation of the company’s assets, liabilities, financial position, profits and losses. They must include a balance sheet, profit and loss statement and notes to accounts.
According to the Companies Act Cap. 386, every company incorporated in Malta must keep accounting records that must include information:
Accounting records must be stored in the company’s registered office or another place determined by resolution of the company’s directors within 10 years. If accounting records are kept outside Malta, they must be sent to Malta for storage and to enable preparation of financial statements. Documents on the company’s activity must be available for officers’ inspection at any time and must show information on the company’s transactions.
Besides annual accounts, all companies incorporated in Malta must prepare financial statements and file them with the Registrar.
A business entity can be incorporated in Malta as:
If any document included in annual accounts is in a language other than Maltese or English, the company must enclose a certified translation.
A company must present its annual accounts in the same currency as its authorized capital. If a company’s annual accounts are in a currency other than euro, the company’s balance sheet shall contain the exchange rate between the used currency and euro on the reporting date at the average rate of the Central Bank of Malta on that date.
Small companies have the right to file condensed balance sheets and condensed profit and loss statements.
Companies must appoint independent auditors to work from each annual general meeting to the next one. Auditors must report to shareholders on each set of financial statements presented at an annual general meeting of the company. The Companies Act also requires an auditor’s report to be made in accordance with the International Standards on Auditing.
According to the law, companies in Malta must annually get their financial statements audited. However, private companies that on the reporting date do not exceed two of the following three criteria are exempt from the obligation to prepare audited accounts and can prepare condensed versions of a balance sheet, profit and loss statement and notes to accounts:
In the case of non-fulfilment of the obligation to file an annual return and present financial statements (or presentation of financial statements in an improper form) to the Business Registry, officers shall be held liable and imposed with a fine of 2 329,37 EUR and a penalty of 46,59 EUR for each day of delay.
In the case of non-fulfilment of the obligation to file a tax return, a fine of 50 to 1 500 EUR shall be imposed on the company depending on the duration of delay.
A company that has subsidiaries must file consolidated financial statements for the group of companies. There are exceptions for small groups and intermediary parent companies; such companies are not required to file accounts
1) if they meet the criteria:
2) if the parent company is a subsidiary of another parent company of a member state of the European Union and is part of a bigger group of companies for which consolidated financial statements have already been prepared.
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