In addition to abundant sunshine and warm winters, easy banking and low taxes in Malta make it an excellent expat destination. Malta is renowned for its advanced financial sector and has been 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 haven’t finalised their residency, although banks without foreign interests are likely to take longer. International banks are accustomed to the workings of expat finances, although choosing a basic account with fewer services can expedite the process.
Expats who need banking access as soon as they arrive will have to do some work ahead of time. There is a lot of inconsistency in documentation requirements – not only between banks but sometimes even between individual branches belonging to 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's always best to double-check with the relevant branch ahead of time to ensure that the required documentation is brought.
ATMs and credit cards
ATMs can be found all over the islands, near retail shops and restaurants. Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted, but expats wanting to use a debit card should ensure it is authorised for international use.
Taxes in Malta
Many expats are attracted by the tax planning and asset protection on offer in Malta, but the benefits vary widely. In general, income tax in Malta is not especially low, ranging up to 35 percent. However, expats fulfilling certain conditions – such as owning or renting property of a particular value, or working in gaming, aviation or finance – will only be required to pay 15 percent of tax on their income.
Malta is in a fairly unique situation when it comes to living off of savings as capital gains can be remitted tax free. The help of a wealth manager is recommended for navigating the tricky details of overseas finance and retirement in Malta.