Government exempts heirs from document duty payments

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Government exempts heirs from document duty paymentsThe Government has today announced that “as part of its efforts to generate further economic activity and job creation in our village cores, whilst improving the quality of our urban areas, a scheme to exempt transfer of shares between heirs of privately owned residential properties from payment of duty on documents.

This will apply for the next two years to all properties located within Urban Conservation Areas (UCAs) and Grade 1 and Grade 2 scheduled buildings. This scheme was announced today by Minister of Finance, the Economy and Investment Tonio Fenech and the Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Environment, Mario de Marco.

The scheme is the second in a series of financial incentives announced in the government budget for 2012 with the aim of promoting sustainable urban regeneration. The scheme aims to help to consolidate the ownership of these buildings, which would help the owners to invest in their maintenance and restoration.

Launching the scheme in Valletta, which has one of the highest percentages of vacant residential properties on the Islands, Minister Tonio Fenech explained that this scheme will support investment in our urban environment, and thus lead to the regeneration of our village cores, while generating economic activity and job creation particularly in the construction sector.

Explaining the relationship of the scheme with environmental policy priorities of the Government, Minister Mario de Marco stated that the National Environment Policy recognises the need of providing fiscal incentives to owners of scheduled properties and those within UCA’s and therefore the incentive being launched is one such fiscal measure. Minister de Marco said that Government is launching an incentive that helps to consolidate ownership, which would, in turn, help to create pre- conditions for effective investment in property restoration.

Heirs of privately owned residential properties located within Urban Conservation Areas (UCAs) and Grade 1 and Grade 2 scheduled buildings may apply for the exemption from duty on documents by completing an application form available from and submitting it for endorsement to the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) offices at St. Francis Ravelin, Floriana or in Victoria, Gozo.

The application form endorsed by MEPA is then returned to the applicant, who may present the form to any Notary Public to effect the deed of transfer or promise of transfer.

The Notary Public will then forward the relevant documents related to the deed/promise of transfer to the Capital Transfer Section of the Inland Revenue Department at 46 Merchants Street Valletta, which would effect the exemption provided that all conditions for such exemption are met.

Government exempts heirs from document duty paymentsAn applicant can apply for exemption on all the shares of all the privately owned residential buildings that he/she may possess.

The process is explained in detail on the MEPA website and through a notice in today’s Government Gazette. Further information regarding the scheme may be requested by phone on 22901530 or via email on

Earlier this year, the Government launched the scheme “Investi f’darek,” whereby private owners of residential Grade 1 and Grade 2 scheduled buildings and all buildings within urban conservation areas (UCAs) may apply for a rebate on costs of restoration, conservation or maintenance carried out between 1st January 2012 and 30th June 2014.

The grant is capped at 20% of the restoration costs up to a maximum of €5,000 per beneficiary. Since its launch in February, “the grant scheme received positive response from the public.”

Later this year, once the necessary legal amendments are finalised, the Government said that is planning to introduce further incentives, including tax credits and tax reduction on income from sale or rent of scheduled properties and properties in UCAs, amongst other incentives.

All the necessary information, guidance and application forms in relation to these further incentives will be published in due course. The measures are aimed at promoting sustainable urban regeneration and reversing the trends of residential vacancy, dilapidation and urban decay.

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