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Malta Crypto Tax Guide 2024

by
Pratibha Tiwari
Reviewed by
min read
Last updated:

Malta is one of the friendliest countries in the world when it comes to crypto. It has enjoyed its presence on every crypto tax haven list on the internet, the reason being the lenient regulations and nominal taxes on crypto gains. Other countries have accepted crypto with open arms, but Malta has actively pursued the proliferation and large-scale adoption of crypto in the region with specialised legislation for defining and categorising crypto assets. 

The primary roadblock to large-scale crypto adoption in most countries has been the uncertain crypto regulations. Malta realised this and has released multiple acts and legislations to nurture a thriving ecosystem for crypto enthusiasts. While the presence of such comprehensive regulations does remove confusion and chaos from the crypto scene, it also makes it a bit more complicated for investors to track these regulations and interpret them in the context of specific transactions. That’s why we created this detailed tax guide that explains the ins and outs of crypto taxation in Malta in a more digestible fashion.

Note that this guide is quite comprehensive and will be updated regularly to accommodate new guidelines. Therefore, we suggest revising this guide regularly to stay up to date with tax trends.

Latest Updates/Guidelines

MDIA Act

ITAS Act

VFA Act

VFA-NFT guidelines

How is Crypto Taxed in Malta

In Malta, the taxation of cryptocurrencies is governed by a regulatory framework comprising three main acts: the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA) Act, the Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services (ITAS) Act, and the Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) Act. These acts collectively aim to safeguard consumers, promote innovation, and ensure integrity within the crypto industry.

Under the Maltese regulatory structure, there are distinctions between trading, investing, and mining activities related to cryptocurrencies:

  • Trading: Individuals or entities engaged in frequent and short-term transactions to profit from price fluctuations are classified as traders. The tax and regulatory obligations for traders depend on the scale and frequency of their trading activities.
  • Investing: Investors typically hold their cryptocurrency assets for extended periods. Investment activities may have different tax implications compared to trading and are subject to less frequent regulatory oversight.
  • Mining: Mining is considered a legitimate activity in Malta and is subject to taxation and other regulatory requirements. The taxation and regulations depend on the scale and nature of the mining operations.

Capital gains on other assets, including cryptocurrencies and personal property, are generally not subject to specific capital gains tax in Malta. However, gains resulting from trading activities or frequent asset disposals may be treated as business income and subject to income tax.

The capital gains tax rates on cryptocurrencies and other assets in Malta range from 15% to 35%, depending on the individual's residential status. It's important for individuals engaged in cryptocurrency activities to consult with crypto-native tax consultants to navigate the complex realm of crypto taxation effectively and ensure compliance with relevant laws.

Can the MFSA track crypto?

The simple answer to this question would be yes. Since Malta is the jewel of the EU’s crown, it enjoys certain regulatory benefits. As a member of the EU, Malta comes under the regulatory jurisdiction of directives like DAC-8 that compel crypto companies offering financial services in the region to comply with harsher crypto reporting norms. In line with DAC-8, crypto service providers are required to collect and share user details and investment records with all member states.

Moreover, there are directives like AMLD-6 that call for stricter KYC norms for crypto service providers in the EU. This means that the MFSA has access to your KYC details and can easily identify any discrepancies in your tax report by correlating your details with transactions on public ledgers and that could get you into a lot of trouble.

Therefore it would be in your best interest to report all your crypto transactions on your tax report and pay your crypto taxes judiciously.

Capital Gains Tax

As previously mentioned, a specific capital gains tax on cryptocurrency holdings doesn't exist. The tax treatment hinges on your crypto activities and residential status.

Cryptocurrency Trading can lead to income tax if deemed part of an active trading business. Frequent short-term transactions may be classified as business income rather than capital gains.

Investment activities involving long-term crypto holdings usually escape capital gains tax when you eventually sell.

Malta recognizes cryptocurrency mining as legitimate but assesses tax based on the scale and nature of mining operations.

Residential Status influences your tax obligations. Residents and non-residents may face different tax rates on crypto gains.

Income tax rates, covering cryptocurrency gains, range from 15% to 35%, contingent on residential status. Consulting crypto-savvy tax advisors can help navigate complex tax rules and ensure compliance with local laws, providing tailored guidance to individual circumstances.

Capital Gains Tax Rate

In Malta, the capital gains tax rate can vary depending on several factors, including your residential status and the type of asset you're selling. 

How to Calculate Crypto Gains and Losses

Calculating your capital gains or losses is a pretty straightforward process. You can simply use this formula to calculate your capital gains/losses:

For those of you who are not aware of what cost basis means. It is simply the price you pay to acquire a certain asset inclusive of any additional costs like gas fees or transaction fees.

Here’s an example:

Mario decides to buy 2 BTC for €30,000 and pays a transaction fee of €150 in the process. After 6 months, Mario sells these 2 BTC for €50,000 and pays a transaction fee of €200 in the process.

Total Transaction fees paid = €150 +€200 = €350

Disposal Amount = €50,000

Cost Basis = Price of the asset + Additional Charges = €30,000 + €350 = €30,350

Capital gains = Disposal Amount - Cost Basis = €50,000 - €30,350 = €19,650

Crypto Losses

Although there are no clear guidelines that explicitly dictate the tax deductibility of capital losses in Malta, if we consider crypto trades to be the same as regular trades, we can predict how these losses are viewed from a tax perspective.

Malta's tax rules allow for the deduction of trading losses incurred in any trade, business, profession, or vocation. These losses can be used to reduce chargeable income or gains, potentially resulting in lower tax liabilities for the taxpayer. However, there may be specific regulations or limitations regarding the treatment of cryptocurrency losses, so it's advisable to consult with a tax professional or authority in Malta for precise guidance on cryptocurrency-related deductions.

Lost or Stolen Crypto

There are no clear guidelines on whether lost or stolen assets are considered for tax deductions. However, the authorities will likely analyse individual cases and offer some form of relief based on the total value of the loss and the circumstances that led to them. 

Therefore, we suggest contacting the MFSA directly to report your lost or stolen assets and seek relief.

Crypto Tax Breaks Malta

As mentioned above, individuals can deduct their capital losses from their gains and reduce their tax liabilities in Malta. Moreover, Malta also offers some personal deductions and allowances to individual investors that can be utilised to lower tax liabilities. 

The most significant ones are mentioned below:

  • Investors can benefit from various investment deductions, such as the Business Promotion Act. Under this act, investors in qualifying industries, including manufacturing, information technology, and biotechnology, can benefit from tax credits and deductions on eligible expenditures. These deductions encourage investments in specific sectors of the Maltese economy.
  • The country offers a favourable tax treatment to startups and early-stage companies. Qualified startups can benefit from a reduced corporate tax rate and additional deductions for eligible expenditures. These incentives are designed to foster entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Malta has a favourable tax regime for income derived from qualifying IP rights. Investors holding IP rights, such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks, can benefit from significant tax deductions on income generated from these assets. This regime encourages the development and exploitation of intellectual property within Malta.
  • There’s an extensive network of double taxation treaties with numerous countries. Investors who are tax residents of Malta can benefit from relief mechanisms provided by these treaties, which help avoid double taxation on income earned abroad.
  • Malta offers a participation exemption regime that allows companies to receive dividends and capital gains from qualifying shareholdings tax-free. This encourages investment in foreign subsidiaries and other companies, as the income is exempt from Maltese tax.
  • Companies engaged in R&D activities can claim deductions on eligible R&D expenditures. These deductions promote innovation and technological advancements within Malta.
  • Investments in renewable energy projects and energy-efficient technologies may qualify for deductions and incentives to promote environmental sustainability.
  • Investors in real estate can benefit from deductions related to property investment, including deductions for expenses incurred in the maintenance and improvement of properties.
  • Malta offers incentives to investors in the film industry, including deductions for eligible expenses related to film production and distribution.

Crypto Cost Basis Method

The examples we have used above are primitive and do not reflect the complexity of real-world capital gains taxations. When a person buys or sells crypto there are instances where he/she buys the same asset at different prices at different instances. And when that happens, it becomes very confusing for investors to identify their cost basis. That is why one should rely on specialised accounting methods as specified by tax authorities to avoid confusion and error in cost-basis calculations.

Malta follows the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) put forth by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). The IFRS are a set of accounting standards put forth to specify how certain transactions are to be reported on financial statements. Since the IFRS specifies the use of FIFO and ACB as accepted accounting methods, it is likely that the use of these accounting methods is permissible in Malta.

The MFSA does not specify explicitly which accounting method to use for cost-basis calculations in Malta. So we will discuss both accounting methods in detail.

  1. FIFO

FIFO or the First-In-First-Out accounting method states that the acquisition price of the earliest asset you buy is to be used as the cost basis for capital gains calculations upon disposal.

  1. Average Cost Basis Method

The average cost basis method simply states that the cost basis for an asset is simply equal to the average acquisition price of all tokens that you currently have in your portfolio.

Here’s an example to understand how these methods work.

Consider the following transactions:

17/01/22 - Jack bought 1 ETH for €1,400

19/02/22 - Jack bought 1 ETH for €1,800

28/05/22 - Jack bought 1 ETH for €1600

21/06/22 - Jack sold 1 ETH for €2,400

  1. Using FIFO

According to FIFO, the first acquisition determines the cost basis.

Cost basis = €1,400

Disposal Amount = €2,400

Capital Gains = Disposal Amount - Cost Basis = €2,400 - €1,400 = €1,000

  1. Using ACB

The ACB method considers the average acquisition price as the cost basis.

Cost Basis = (€1,400 + €1,600 + €1,800)/3 = €1,600

Disposal Amount = €2,400

Capital Gains = €2,400 - €1,600 = €800

Notice how the capital gain changes when you use different accounting methods.

Crypto Income Tax

As previously mentioned, all gains from crypto trades and income derived from income-bearing crypto transactions attract income tax in Malta. Revenue from mining, staking, yield farming, ICOs, Airdrops, or any other source attracts income tax in Malta.

Crypto Income Tax Rate

The income tax rates in Malta are as follows:

Tax-Free Crypto Transactions 

The following transactions are tax-free in Malta:

  • Buying crypto with fiat
  • HOLDING crypto
  • Transferring crypto between wallets

Taxed Crypto Transactions

The following transactions are taxed in Malta:

  • Selling crypto
  • Staking crypto
  • Receiving crypto through an airdrop, fork, or as staking and mining reward
  • Yield farming
  • Liquidity farming
  • Receiving an interest income from crypto-related transactions

Tax on Mining Crypto

Crypto mining is subject to taxation, and the tax treatment depends on factors like the nature and scale of mining activities, individual or business tax status, and income derived from mining.

Income generated from cryptocurrency mining is generally considered taxable income, subject to personal or business income tax rates, depending on whether it's conducted as a personal activity or a business venture. Business income may be taxed differently from individual income.

Cryptocurrency miners may be eligible to deduct certain expenses associated with mining, such as electricity costs and hardware expenses, to reduce their taxable income.

Malta typically doesn't impose capital gains tax on cryptocurrency sales, but specific circumstances and the intent behind selling mined cryptocurrencies can impact tax liability.

Maintaining meticulous records of mining activities, expenses, and cryptocurrency sales or transfers is crucial for accurate tax reporting.

Tax on Staking Crypto

Although mining and staking are two very different ways of adding and validating new blocks of transaction on public ledgers (blockchain), most countries in the EU consider both mining and staking to be the same from a tax perspective, and Malta is no exception. 

The taxation of staking rewards is the same as mining rewards.

How are Airdrops and Forks Taxed

Tokens received through Hardforks and Airdrops are taxed based on their utility as DLT assets. If you use the token as a means of payment, store of value, or a medium of exchange in the digital realm then these tokens would be categorised as a coin. However, if you use these tokens for buying a product or a service in the physical world, then these tokens are categorized as Utility tokens and taxed accordingly. 

But since coins and utility tokens are not on the list of capital assets in the income tax act, the capital gains on their disposal do not attract income tax. We suggest seeking the guidance of an experienced tax professional to gain some clarity on the subject.
Note that soft forks do not attract any taxes since no new tokens are generated and redistributed to the chain participants during the chain split.

Crypto Gifts and Donation Taxes

There is no clear guidance on how crypto gifts and donations are viewed from a tax perspective. However, if we consider crypto gifts and donations to be the same as fiat ones, we can infer the following:

There is no gift, inheritance, or estate tax in Malta and gifting crypto assets is likely tax-free. When it comes to donations there are no guidelines regarding the same. We do suggest seeking the guidance of an experienced tax professional to better understand their taxation.

Crypto Margin Trades, Futures, and CFDs

Any gains derived from margin or leverage trades are considered to be the same as the ones derived from regular trades. The MFSA doesn’t make any exceptions between the two trade types and the tax implications are the same even for Crypto Future and Derivatives.

Crypto ICO Taxes

ICOs are special events that allow investors to own native tokens from unreleased projects in exchange for mainstream tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum. They are similar to IPOs in the regular securities market.

In Malta, ICOs are subject to varying tax implications based on factors such as token classification and the nature of the income generated. Firstly, income tax may apply if tokens from an ICO are considered revenue. The tax rate depends on whether the income is categorised as business income or capital gains.

Regarding VAT, ICOs are generally treated as taxable services, making VAT potentially applicable to the consideration received for the tokens. However, specific token types and transactions may have exceptions and unique VAT rules.

Capital Gains Tax could be relevant if ICO tokens are held as capital assets and later sold.

The tax rate depends on the holder's residency status and the duration of token ownership.

Moreover, if an ICO results in the formation of a corporate entity in Malta, any dividends or distributions made to token holders might be subject to taxation.

NFT Taxes 

NFTs in Malta are categorized based on specific criteria outlined in the VFA-NFT guidelines. To qualify as an NFT, an asset must demonstrate both uniqueness and non-fungibility, applying to both the NFT itself and the assets, rights, or utilities it represents. If an NFT is part of a large series or collection, its fungibility may be affected, potentially leading to its disqualification as non-fungible. A unique identifier or label alone is insufficient to establish uniqueness. These guidelines came into effect on July 1, 2023, and apply to all NFT-related activities.

The taxation of NFTs depends heavily on whether they classify as DLT assets and we suggest seeking the advice of an experienced tax professional to have more clarity on the subject.

DAO Taxes

DAOs are member-owned communities with a shared vision. All the decisions in a DAO are made by the members in the absence of central leadership. They are new-age institutions that aim to democratise decision-making and allow people to have a say in decisions that directly affect them. DAOs are often called the soul of Web3 and allow members to earn rewards in multiple ways. DAO contributors are rewarded for their contributions to the organization, similar to how centralized organizations pay salaries to their employees. They also pay out bounties for one-time projects and redistribute any profits generated through operations.

Although there is no guidance on how income from DAOs is taxed, it will likely attract income tax in Malta. We do suggest seeking guidance from an experienced tax professional to gain some clarity on the taxation of such transactions.

DeFi Taxes

There are no guidelines that dictate the taxation of specific DeFi transactions in Malta. However, we do know that income from staking and lending on DeFi platforms attracts income tax in Malta. 

We suggest seeking guidance from experienced tax professionals to gain more clarity on DeFi taxation.

When to Report Crypto Taxes in Malta

The deadline for filing your tax return in 2023 is June 30.

How to File Crypto Taxes in Malta

You can submit your income tax return online by logging into https://mytax.cfr.gov.mt using your e-id account. If you don’t already have your e-ID account yet, you can request your e-ID by calling 25904300 or sending a request by email to servizz@gov.mt.

What Records will the MFSA want?

There is no official list of documents released by the MFSA as of now. However, one should maintain the following documents as a precautionary measure to avoid complications when filing their tax returns.

  1. List of all transactions with dates and time
  2. A detailed record of the acquisition and disposal amount
  3. Details about the type of asset and the parties involved in the transaction
  4. A list of cost basis for each asset
  5. A detailed record of all assets held in digital wallets you have private keys for

How to File Crypto Taxes Using Kryptos?

Now that you’re aware of how your crypto transactions are taxed and what forms you need to fill out to complete your tax report, here’s a step-wise breakdown of how Kryptos can make this task easier for you:

Visit kryptos.io and sign up using your email or Google/Apple Account

Choose your country, currency, time zone, and accounting method 

Import all your transactions from wallets and crypto exchanges

Choose your preferred report and click on the generate report option on the left side of your screen and let Kryptos do all the accounting.

Once your Tax report is ready, you can download it in PDF format.

If you still need clarification regarding the integrations or generating your tax reports, you refer to our video guide here.

How to Avoid Crypto Taxes in Malta

Although it's impossible to avoid crypto taxes entirely, there are exemptions and deductions offered by the tax authorities that you can use to lower your tax bill. Mentioned below are some of them:

  • Tax credits and deductions for investors in qualifying sectors.
  • Reduced corporate tax rates and deductions for startups.
  • Significant tax deductions on income from IP rights.
  • Relief mechanisms for tax residents to avoid double taxation on foreign income.
  • Tax-free dividends and capital gains from qualifying shareholdings.
  • Deductions on eligible R&D expenditure.
  • Deductions and incentives for investments in green energy.
  • Deductions for property investment and maintenance expenses.
  • Deductions for eligible film production and distribution expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is Crypto Legal in Malta?

Yes, investing in crypto is legal in Malta, as the country has established a regulatory framework to govern the cryptocurrency industry, ensuring legality and security for investors.

2. How is Crypto Taxed in Malta?

Cryptocurrency taxation in Malta involves capital gains tax on trading activities, subject to varying rates based on the taxpayer's residence status. Mining is considered a trade or business and is taxable. ICOs and airdrops are taxable when they generate income. The country offers deductions and incentives, such as those for startups, intellectual property, R&D, and renewable energy investments, helping to mitigate tax liabilities for investors. Additionally, Malta has double taxation treaties to avoid dual taxation on foreign income for its residents. These measures create a comprehensive framework for cryptocurrency taxation in Malta.

3. Does Malta have a Capital Gains Tax?

Yes, Malta has a capital gains tax. Capital gains tax in Malta applies to various assets, including real estate, securities, and specific business assets. The tax rate may vary based on factors like the type of asset, the holding period, and the taxpayer's residence status. However, Malta offers exemptions and deductions that can significantly reduce the capital gains tax liability in some instances, especially for residents and companies. It's advisable to consult with a tax expert or authority for specific details on capital gains tax rates and exemptions applicable to your situation in Malta.

4. How can Kryptos simplify crypto taxes for you?

We’ve already discussed how to file your crypto taxes in the above sections of the guide offering a stepwise breakdown of the entire process. However, we agree that it is unreasonably complicated even for someone with a fair amount of prior knowledge. However, there’s an easy way to file your crypto taxes using a crypto tax software called Kryptos.

All you need to do is log in on the platform, add all your trading accounts, wallets, and Defi accounts and sip coffee while Kryptos does all the heavy lifting for you. The platform auto-fetches all your transactions from the tax year and generates a legally compliant tax report within a matter of minutes while also suggesting ways to lower your tax bill. It works like magic, all you need to do is try it once.

All content on Kryptos serves general informational purposes only. It's not intended to replace any professional advice from licensed accountants, attorneys, or certified financial and tax professionals. The information is completed to the best of our knowledge and we at Kryptos do not claim either correctness or accuracy of the same. Before taking any tax position / stance, you should always consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice from the professionals. Kryptos is not liable for any loss caused from the use of, or by placing reliance on, the information on this website. Kryptos disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of any positions taken by you in your tax returns. Thank you for being part of our community, and we're excited to continue guiding you on your crypto journey!