Tax Treatment of Maltese Shipping Organisation

The taxation of Shipping Organisations is dealt with by specific regulations enacted by the Minster responsible for Shipping, with the concurrence of the Minister responsible for Finance (hereinafter the ‘Tax Regulations’) pursuant to the powers granted to the Ministers under the Merchant Shipping Act.

For a Shipping Organisation to qualify for Maltese tonnage tax benefits, five requirements must be met;

  • All registration fees and tonnage taxes must have been duly paid;
  • Separate accounts must have been kept clearly distinguishing the payments and receipts by the Shipping Organisation concerned in respect of shipping activities, including the ownership, operation, administration or management of a tonnage tax ship, and payments and receipts in respect of other business;
  • Only income derived from shipping activities is exempted;
  • The activities must be performed by a tonnage tax ship;
  • The tonnage tax ship must be owned or chartered by a licensed Shipping Organisation.
The Tax Regulations provide that, notwithstanding anything contained in the Income Tax Act, but provided that all relevant registration fees and tonnage taxes as may have been prescribed are duly paid, no further tax under the Income Tax Act shall be charged or payable on the income referred to above.