Category Archives: Moving to

Moving to Malta

Are you considering
moving to Malta ?

Removals to Malta could make your fantasy come true if you have dreamt of life on an idyllic island. Malta will indeed allow you to enjoy a sunny climate while keeping all of the luxuries of modern life. However, if you are moving to Malta there is a lot you’ll need to research before you set off, such as the transport available on the island and whether you’ll need to learn the language. We’ve done some of the hard work for you with this guide which covers the essential info that every expat considering relocating to Malta should know.

Malta is the smallest state within the EU, with a population of just 400,000 stretched over 316 square kilometres. The country is actually an archipelago which is comprised of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino.

Malta is the biggest of the three islands and has the most sites of interest as well as being the administrative and commercial hub. Gozo is quieter with more rural areas, as it is primarily utilised for fishing, agriculture, tourism and crafts. The last of the three, Comino only has one hotel on the island and is considered to be uninhabited.This trio of islands is set in the middle of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily and north of Africa. This brings a hot and sunny climate with many hours of sunshine each day. Winters are short and mild with only occasional bursts of cold weather.

After joining the EU, Malta went on to adopt the euro in 2008 and this is now the only legal tender currency in the country.

A sunny island in the middle of the ocean, Cyprus offers a sunshine lifestyle whether you’re relocating for a new job or retiring. Removals to Cyprus can take some organising though, primarily due to its location. Therefore, you’ll need to get planning way ahead of your move.

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Visa

As part of the EU, the rules about living and working on this tiny island are pretty straightforward. EU citizens can live or work in Malta without having to apply for any kind of visa or work permit. However, if they plan on staying for longer than three months they must apply for the formal registration certificate.

Non-EU nationals will have to secure approval from the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs to work in Malta. There are a number of requirements attached to this type of application including supporting evidence from the employer. This visa can be renewed up to a maximum of three years although may possibly be extended in exceptional circumstances.

If you are an EU citizen, living in Switzerland or if you live in an EEA member country then you don’t need to apply for an employment license (unless you live in Croatia) but it is advisable to contact EURES to see if there any additional requirements before you work in Malta.

Transport

As the archipelago of Malta covers such a small space, transport in and around the islands is very easy.

Driving offers real freedom to visit wherever you want and allows you access to the furthest stretches of the island. In Malta, cars drive on the left-hand side of the road, just like the UK. Likewise, the signs are all in English.

The buses make a good alternative to driving and are a reliable, safe and clean form of public transport. Typically operating between 5 am and 11 pm, there are 80 routes around the Maltese islands. There are even buses that travel between Malta and Gozo. The buses are modern with air conditioning, and all feature low rise entry and wide doorways to accommodate disabled passengers. You can get a Tallinja card that you can top up online.

There aren’t any proper railways on Malta. Of course, there are tourist trains which are trackless and offer a fun way to see the sights.

White taxis are another quick way to get around but aren’t the cheapest option. They can pick passengers up from anywhere other than bus stops; Make sure you remember to check the fare before setting off.

Healthcare

Malta offers an excellent standard of healthcare; They rank fifth globally in the World Health Organisation’s chart. This outstrips larger countries such as the UK and US by a long way and demonstrates the quality which is available within the state system.

Any emergency medical treatment is free of charge to everyone, regardless of whether they have insurance coverage. Once they are stable, they will need proof of cover for further treatment.

the terms of their EHIC card cover EU citizens arriving for a short-term visit only. The card provides access to free treatment for emergency and necessary medical treatments; it is not a proper replacement for travel insurance.

For those EU nationals who are staying within Malta for longer, they will need to register to qualify for state insurance. This is funded through salary contributions which are roughly equivalent to 10%. Self-employed people can opt to make contributions to also benefit from the state cover available.

As a small island, Malta organises its referrals and treatment geographically, a system which helps to cut back on waiting times. However, there still may be delays for treatment, just like any state health system. Individuals who are keen to avoid waiting a long time for routine referrals can opt for private healthcare instead. This is more expensive but provides better options and shorter waiting times so it’s often a preference for expats.

Non-EU nationals will not be able to take advantage of the state healthcare and will need to take out either travel insurance or private healthcare which offers cover while overseas.

Taxation

What do you need to know about finance and tax in Malta and more specifically, how does it apply to you as a foreign resident?

Long occupied by the British, the main language in Malta is English.

It has long been a draw for expats due to its laid back lifestyle and quality of life.

One of the other benefits for many is the low tax rates and the fact that there are no wealth, inheritance of gift taxes. The finance and tax in Malta rates are significantly lower than in other countries.

When you put all of these benefits together along with the Mediterranean climate, it is no surprise that many expats, especially those from the EU, enjoy their retirement here.

If you are considering a relocation to the beautiful island of Malta what can you expect? How will the regulations surrounding finance and tax in Malta apply to you and your circumstances?

Let’s take a look at the main personal taxes and contributions and what they mean:

Tax obligations when moving to a new country

First and foremost it is important to check what taxes you are required to pay in Malta.

Obviously, they will meet the usual income tax requirements that you get in most countries. Then there is social security.

If you want the benefits of the social insurance scheme, then you need to understand this.

Besides this what other taxes are there and how will they affect you?

If you are moving as part of your retirement and aren’t planning on working, then there is much less to consider.

If you are going to be employed, then you will need to understand the income tax rates and how they affect you.

Of course, we only offer a guide so you may want to consult a good accountant.

The good thing about Malta is that the main language is English so finding an accountant that you can converse with shouldn’t be a problem. Once you have established your requirements, you can start to tie up the loose ends at home.

If you are moving partway through the tax year, do you need to file a tax return?

If you are self-employed or have to self-assess, then you need to ensure this is done. You also need to inform the tax department of your relocation. Perhaps you need to leave a forwarding address to ensure you receive vital communications? Then when you arrive in your new home, you will need to declare your arrival.

An employer will need to inform the tax office that you work for them and make the relevant contributions.

Income tax rates in Malta

The income tax rate in Malta is progressive and ranges from 0 – 35%. Up to EUR 9,100 of earnings are tax-free. Beyond that, the rates range from 15% on earnings up to EUR 14,500 to 35% on earnings over EUR 60,001.

When you consider income tax rates around the world, this rate is very favourable.

These are the rates for single people however they do depend on your personal circumstances. For married couples and parents, the rates vary. Foreign residents are only subject to income tax on their Maltese attributed income – not their worldwide income. This alone makes it an attractive prospect to many.

Make sure that the tax office knows of your existence. While it is the employer’s job to notify the tax department of your employment, it is worth double-checking.

If you are self-employed, then you will need to register to self-assess.

Social security contributions in Malta

Everyone over the age of 16 and 65 or under are required to pay social security contributions whether employed or self-employed.

If an employee works for less than 8 hours a calendar week, then they are exempt from payments.

The employed and their employer are required to pay Class 1 contributions whilst the self-occupied and self-employed are required to make Class 2 contributions.

The benefits offered by the Malta social insurance scheme include the benefits offered by most other countries. These include maternity pay, unemployment benefit, child allowance and sickness benefit.

Corporate tax in Malta

If a company is registered under the laws of Malta and considered a resident company, the corporate tax rate is 35%.

There is a scheme in which shareholders can claim back a refund of a portion of the tax. If this applies to your business, then you will need to investigate it further and how it affects you.

If you are a non-resident business operating in Malta, then you are subject to any income received in Malta and through a Maltese bank account.

VAT in Malta

The VAT rate in Malta is 18%. There are, as with most countries, reduced rates which apply to certain goods and services. These reduced rates are set at 7% and 5%.

While many countries have been raising their thresholds to help start-up businesses, Malta has actually reduced theirs. What once was a VAT threshold of EUR 14,500 is now NIL. What this means is that every business is subject to VAT and has to submit a VAT return in accordance with the regulations of finance and tax in Malta.

Other Maltese taxes

In addition to the usual income tax, VAT and corporate taxes, there are other taxes to consider in Malta. There is, however, no inheritance tax, gift tax or wealth tax in Malta.

There are capital gains taxes and stamp duties as well as the usual excise duties.

The draw of the country is the simple tax regime and the fact that personal taxes are more inviting than other countries.

With a lower end income tax rate of 15% and the fact that individuals are only taxed on Maltese earnings, it is a popular destination for many expats.

For more information on how you will be personally affected by a move to Malta and get a better understanding of the finance and tax in Malta, it is advisable to seek the help of an expert.

Moving to Greece

Are you considering
moving to Greece ?

If you’re thinking about moving to Athens or one of the islands, removals to Greece will be high on your priority list. An experienced removals company can make any move much more straightforward and provide expert advice on what you need to do.

Moving overseas takes a lot of organisation; there’s a long list of factors to consider from finding somewhere to live, to learning the language. This guide provides an overview of the essential info you will need.

Greece is a very accessible place and a route that is well-travelled by European moving companies. They can provide some useful experience in helping you to prepare for the transition to your new country.

Although the primary road network in Greece is well looked after, some of the roads outside the cities are narrow and winding. Using a reliable international transport company will, therefore, ensure that all your belongings get there in one piece.

Whether you choose our Load & Go or our EasyMoves solution, European Moving can help you with your removal. We shall be able to provide advice on a whole range of removal issues you may not have encountered before.

Fill in the short form below and our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Visa

As part of the EU, it is straightforward for EU nationals to move to Greece; Regardless of the intended duration of stay, they do not need a visa. The only documentation they need to present on entry is either their passport or their identity card.

The same rules for EU members also apply to nationals from Lichtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. Unlike in some other EU states, visitors from other countries such as the US, Canada and Australia do not receive any advantage and will need to apply for a visa just like everyone else.

EU members planning on staying longer than 90 days will need to register at the Department of Aliens bureau, typically found in the local police station.

Failure to do this could hypothetically result in a fine, but in reality, this is rarely, if ever, pursued. Nevertheless, it is wise to follow the correct procedure.

Transport

Driving is a favourite way to get around in Greece, but you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the regulations that apply. Road users drive on the right-hand side, and failure to follow the correct road procedures can result in hefty fines or even prison.

There are parts of Greece where you cannot drive a diesel-powered vehicle. On the other hand, petrol stations outside Athens may be scarce and close early.

You should also be aware that another car flashing its headlights is not an indication that they are letting you go; Instead, it is a warning sign that drivers use to tell others to get out of their way, so take heed if you spot this aimed at you!

Greece has both mainline and metro trains which cover the majority of the mainland. Although there are some express, long-distance and high-speed trains, in general trains are not the quickest or most convenient way to travel around the country.

Athens has a tram system which opens from 5 am and runs right through until the early hours. They have a limited reach but are a handy way of getting around the city.

Buses are the most popular form of public transport, and also the cheapest. All the main towns connect to Athens, and even remote villages operate a somewhat infrequent bus service. Buses, in general, are safe, modern and feature conveniences such as air conditioning.

Healthcare

Greece introduced its national health service to the country in 1983. While it is possible to qualify for free or subsided health treatment, it’s highly advisable to take out private cover.

The economic turmoil has had a dramatic effect on government spending. It slashed the money spent on the health system. This has created a severe problem of underfunding with insufficient doctors or resources, creating a crisis in the system.

Although the general standard of hospitals and staff training is excellent, the lack of money has had an impact. City hospitals are often crowded and overrun with patients, and in more rural areas, services are often non-existent. For this reason,  anyone considering living or working in Greece should consider private healthcare.

The number for emergencies in Greece is the pan-European access code of 112.

Moving to Cyprus

Are you considering
moving to Cyprus ?

A sunny island in the middle of the ocean, Cyprus offers a sunshine lifestyle whether you’re relocating for a new job or retiring. Removals to Cyprus can take some organising though, primarily due to its location. Therefore, you’ll need to get planning way ahead of your move.

Moving overseas is a big decision, and the list of tasks can seem overwhelming. This guide will take you through the essential information you need and prepare you for the adventure that lies ahead.

If you’re moving to Cyprus, the help of an expert team of professional European movers will prove a big asset. Transport for goods typically takes between 3 and 9 weeks, depending on how much is being shipped, the weather and the Customs process.

As part of the EU, it’s relatively easy to bring your belongings to Cyprus. Just make sure that you don’t attempt to import any prohibited goods. These include firearms, drugs, plants, food, offensive material and anything inflammable. You can find a full list of restricted and prohibited items online.

Whether you choose our Load & Go or our EasyMoves solution, European Moving can help you with your removal. We shall be able to provide advice on a whole range of removal issues you may not have encountered before.

Fill in the short form to get your free quote.

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Visa

Moving to Cyprus is somewhat trickier than other countries because of the occupancy of the Turks in the north. This area is not recognised by any other nations. Visa and customs permit only apply to visitors who arrive via a route from the south. Anyone attempting to arrive through the north could find themselves classed as an illegal immigrant and face expulsion, even if they hold the correct documentation.

Like many other European nations, Cyprus allows visitors from the EU and countries such as the US, Australia and Canada to enter for a period of up to 90 days without any visa required.

Those travelling from outside these areas will require a visa to visit the country.

However, EU nationals will require a visa if they want to work or stay longer than 90 days. These work permits will only be granted to individuals with special skills and if they don’t deprive a local of a job. Those who don’t intend to work or are self-employed must demonstrate sufficient funds to be approved for entry.

Transport

Cyprus has one of the highest levels of car ownership in the world and driving remains one of the most practical ways to get around on the island. The roads are generally in good condition, although some may be unpaved, congestion is light and petrol stations easily found.

Road users drive on the left-hand side of the road, but the culture is quite different from northern Europe. Drivers can be fast and aggressive, not stopping at roundabouts and other junctions, and failing to use indicators. This takes some getting used to; however, once you’ve been on the road a while, it’s not as intimidating as it may first appear!

Public transport is insufficient. Cyprus has no train services and the buses can be unreliable. Different operators run the various bus services and don’t always run on the weekends or during the evenings. In some quieter areas, the buses only run once or twice a day; They tend to be more frequent in the cities.

Healthcare

The healthcare system in Cyprus has both private and state provisions, but the standard overall is good. Many of the doctors typically train overseas, and it’s common for them to speak at least a basic level of English. As a general rule of thumb, standards are better in the south of Cyprus than in the north.

The state healthcare is a complicated affair, and it’s divided up into three groups: those who can receive treatment for free, those who pay a low cost and others who pay the full price.

Cypriots and EU nationals are eligible for the first two categories, but their income and number of personal dependants will determine whether they receive treatment free or at a low cost.

Visitors from outside the EU will not qualify for state healthcare and must, therefore, take out private healthcare. Residents who don’t qualify for the free healthcare often also take out a separate cover to top up the treatment they are eligible to receive.

Compulsory contributions from workers, set at a rate of 6.3%, with additional contributions from the employer, fund the healthcare system. Around 83% of people living in Cyprus will qualify for free or low-cost treatment.

The number to call for emergency services in Cyprus is 199. Alternatively, you can call 112 which is the universal emergency services number for all European countries.

Taxation

A new life abroad means finding somewhere to live and looking for, or maybe relocating with work. How does finance and tax in Cyprus affect you though?

For those of you that are considering a move to Cyprus, there will be many different motivations.

Some of you will be retiring and therefore not have to worry too much about finance and tax in Cyprus.

If you have dividends or interest, then it is wise to check out the Defence Tax affects you though.

For others that will be working or perhaps running their own business, you will need to carry out your research.

While you are probably looking forward to the warm climate and perhaps the easier pace of life, you do still need to face the realities of having everything in order.

Like practically every country, there are tax laws to observe. There is no escaping from the dreaded income tax. In addition to this, there are the essential contributions like social security.

If you have income in more than one country, this will also be a consideration. Let’s take a look at the various taxes in Cyprus and how they might affect you.

Let’s take a look at the various taxes in Cyprus and how they might affect you.

Tax obligations when moving to a new country

Are you looking forward to a better quality of life and a more laid back lifestyle? While this may be the motivation for your move, there are still financial obligations to deal with.

You need to make sure that you are meeting these tax and financial requirements of Cyprus. Now for some, this will be pretty straight forward.

If you are self-employed, however, you will need to register as such. You will also need to submit tax returns and ensure that you make the necessary social security contributions.

As you are going to be leaving the country where you once paid tax, you need to tie up loose ends. Make sure the tax department are aware of your circumstances and that you are up to date with tax owed. If you submit tax returns, then you need to make sure these are up to date.

If you are employed, then it may be that you need to do a partial self-assessment at the end of the year. You may be due to a tax refund. It is important to check what is required of you.

When you arrive in Cyprus, you need to inform the authorities of your arrival. Make sure you declare to the tax department if you are self-employed or registering a business.

Income tax rates in Cyprus

The income tax rates in Cyprus is progressive. Like many countries, the more you earn, the higher percentage you pay.

no tax to pay

For all earnings of EUR 19,500 or below, there is no tax to pay.

Once you reach earnings of EUR 19,000 up to EUR 28,000, then you must pay 20% on all earnings over EUR 19,000.

There are then 25%, 30% and 35% thresholds.

35% is payable on earnings over EUR 60,000.

If you are employed, then your tax will be deducted from your salary and paid by your employer.

If you are self-employed, then you will be required to self-assess and submit a tax return.

There are various tax allowances for charitable donations and trade union fees.

All of the core taxes – income tax, corporate tax, VAT and social security are collected by the government.

Social security contributions in Cyprus

The Social Insurance Scheme covers all employees and the self-employed in Cyprus. Under the scheme, the insured are entitled to many benefits should the need arise. These benefits include sickness, maternity, invalidity pension, unemployment, old-age pension, widows’ pension and more. There is also a funeral grant.

While employees are entitled to all benefits, the self-employed are not entitled to unemployment benefit and accident at work or occupational diseases.

The contribution to the scheme for the employed is shared between the employee, the employer and the state.

For self-employed, the contributions are shared between the self-employed person and the state. The self-employed person pays the larger share.

Corporate tax in Cyprus

There is a reason many companies choose to set up their HQ in Cyprus.

The corporate tax rate is just 12.5%!

The corporate tax rate is just 12.5%! This is very low when you compare it to many other European countries.

Company tax is due on the 1st August of the following year.

The regulations for finance and tax in Cyprus state that you must pay corporate tax on your worldwide earnings if your company is a resident company of Cyprus. If you are just operating a branch or office in Cyprus however, you only have to pay corporate tax on profits made in Cyprus.

VAT in Cyprus

The standard rate of VAT in Cyprus is 19% which has increased from 18%.

There are reduced rates of 9% and 5% for certain goods and services. In addition to this, there are also some VAT exemptions.

If you are a company trading in Cyprus, then you will need to register for VAT if your turnover is EUR 15,600 or more.

You will be required to register for VAT, keep accurate records and submit a VAT return according to the laws of finance and tax in Cyprus.

Other Cyprus Taxes           

In addition to the main taxes which are collected centrally, there are others including Capital Gains Tax.

One tax which you may not have heard of is the Defence Tax. This is a contribution that people have to make for dividends, bank interest and rent, for example, and ranges from 17 – 30%.

Immovable Property Tax was abolished at the start of Jan 2017 so make sure that any information you find is up to date.

If you have any doubts about taxes, then it is advisable to seek the help of an expert. There are many financial institutes based in Cyprus, and there are a large proportion of English speaking people. You should be able to find a professional advisor that can answer any questions you might have.

Having everything in order before you move will make the adjustment to your new home so much easier.