Fabian Demicoli

Il-GRTU tipproponi revizjoni tar-Rati tal-Income Tax

Il-Proposta
ewlenija tal-GRTU ghall-Budget 2008 hi revizjoni tal-bands
tal-Income Tax. Ir-ricerki li ghamlet l-GRTU fost in-negozji u
s-self-employed rapprezentati mill-GRTU kif ukoll fost l-konsumaturi li jixtru
minghand il-hwienet u negozji, uriet li t-talba ewlenija ta’ dan is-settur vast
hi li dawn in-nies jibqalhom aktar flus fil-but. Dan is-settur, li fieh hemm
l-faxxa medja ta’ dawk li jahdmu, specjalment fejn il-koppja t-tnejn jahdmu, hi
li wara li tinqata t-taxxa minn fuq dak li jaqilghu bhala paga jew
qliegh, jibqalhom bizzejjed biex ilahhqu mal-kwalita’ ta’ hajja li jahdmu
ghaliha. Din it-taxxa illum taghfas hafna fuq l-medja l-aktar wiesgha ta’
haddiema u self-employed qed ikollha mpatt negattiv fuq l-attivita kummercjali u
fuq l-abilita tal-familji li jonqfu ghall- htigijiet li
jixirqilhom.

 

Il-GRTU issostni li l-Gvern ma
jistax jibqa ghaddej bil-kantaliena li kull sena jghid  li qed jilliberalizza t-taxxi fil-
waqt li fl-ahhar tas-sena johrog kull darba li l-Gvern dahhal aktar
minn fuq l-istess nies u l-gvern
nefaq  aktar f’dik li hi nefqa pubblika.
Il-klassi medja tal-icome earners
thoss li l-budget
deficit
qed jinghalaq ghas-spejjez taghha u issa ghandhom dritt
jistennew rimedju ghall-piz kbir li ilhom igorru.

 

Il-proposta ewlenija tal-GRTU
ghalekk hi li l-income tax bands
jitwessghu hekk:

 

Single
tax computation

o      
Less than Lm5,000 a
year                       nil

o      
Between Lm5,000 and
Lm8,000             15%

o      
Between Lm8,001 and
Lm12,000           25%

o      
More than Lm12,000                               35%

 

Couple
tax computation

o      
Less than Lm7,000                                  nil

o      
Between Lm7,000 and Lm
10,000          15%

o      
Between Lm10,001 and
Lm15,000         25%

o      
More than Lm15,000                               35%

 

Il-GRTU
qed tistenna wkoll li z-zewg partiti politici ewlenin jintrabtu li fl-ewwel
budget ta’ wara l-elezzjoni inehhu l-band ta’ 35%
u jistabilixxu sistema mibnija fuq il-band ta’ 15%
u ohra ta’ 25% bit-tax ceiling,000 li jkun ifisser li t-taxxa tibda
tghodd biss ghall-min jaqla aktar minn Lm6,000 fis-sena. Il-GRTU
issostni li l-Gvern illum qed idahhal bizzejjed mill-capital transfer
tax, mill-Vat u mill-kontribuzzjonijiet socjali biex jibdel
l-istruttura tat-taxxi u ma tibqghax aktar sistema li tikkastiga bi kbir lil min
l-aktar li jistinka. It-tieni proposta ewlenija tal-GRTU hi li
tkompli tkun riformata s-sistema tat-taxxa fuq l-propjeta biex ma jigrix li
l-industrija tal-kostruzzjoni u tal-izvilupp taqa f’ricessjoni u fl-istess waqt
ikun inkuraggut s-suq ta’ min jixtri l-propjeta b’cens li jkun jista jinfeda
bl-anqas xkiel kif ukoll li jkun inkuraggut is-suq ghall-kiri tal-propjeta
lill-Maltin. Il-proposta tal-GRTU hu ammirati biex kemm l-individwu li
jrid jikri jew jixtri b’cens kif ukoll l-izviluppatur
li jrid ihalli flusu nvestiti fil-propjeta ikollhom l-agevolazzjonijiet fiskali
bizzejjed biex dawn is-swieq ikunu sostnuti.
imtella ghall-Lm6

 

Il-GRTU
resqet ukoll numru ta’ proposti ohra illi hargu lis-survey li
hija zammet fost is-setturi rapprezentati mill-GRTU u li jorqtu setturi
differenti tal-kummerc u l-produttivita.

 

GRTU budget
proposals 2008

 

 

  1. Tax Reform

 

GRTU believes
that the tax reform should move a step further in budget 2008. The current tax
bands continue to castigate middle-income earners especially families and
couples where both parents are employed on a full-time basis. GRTU strongly
recommends a further widening of the tax bands as follows:

 

Single tax computation

o       Less than Lm5,000 a year                       nil

o       Between Lm5,000 and
Lm8,000             15%

o       Between Lm8,001 and
Lm12,000           25%

o       More than Lm12,000                               35%

 

Couple tax computation

o       Less than Lm7,000                                  nil

o       Between Lm7,000 and Lm
10,000          15%

o       Between Lm10,001 and
Lm15,000         25%

o       More than Lm15,000                               35%

 

a.     
Taxation of income of
self-employed:

The system of a
simple withholding tax on turnover adopted for farmers has given good results
and GRTU now recommends that this scheme will be given as an option to other
sectors of self-employed.

 

b.     Registered self-employed and other non-incorporated small business

These with a
turn-over of less than Lm250, 000 should be given the option to opt for a 3%
withholding tax and turnover or where turnover is not immediately calculatable
on a quarterly payment basis.

 

c.     
Employment of women:

GRTU recommends
that spouses who are employed on a part-time basis with annual income not
surpassing the minimum taxable income should pay a 5% tax deduction on the
earned income to cover social contribution and all other tax compliance
requirement as a final withholding tax. Spouses falling under this tax regime will
enjoy the full pension/social services contributory scheme advantages.

 

 

  1. Excessive VAT burdens on
    restaurants and snack bars

 

GRTU is
recommending that the rate of 18% VAT will be applicable only on the value
added excluding labour costs and other non-vatable inputs

 

 

  1. Housing

 

Government should
bring the necessary forms to lessen the negative impact of the slow-down in the
construction and property development sector and simultaneously stimulate the market
for renting and leasing (Ä‹ens) of property.  

 

GRTU’s recommendation that
rent and lease (Ä‹ens) charges redeemable
should be subject to a 5% final withholding tax and payments receivable by land
owners concurrent with an extension of the non-taxable allowance to payers for
the full amount of the annual payment made.

 

This scheme will encourage
property developers to hold their funds in current developments where prices on
the market are too high for buyers (especially first time buyers) to pay the
full price outright. It will also create an incentive for developers not to
transfer funds abroad while simultaneously encourage potential home owners to
move on the market in spite of the current level of property prices.

 

 

  1. Waste management schemes- the
    polluter pays principle

 

GRTU is proposing a reform of
the ECO-taxation with the aim of further encouraging collective waste
management schemes. GRTU is moving along to manage waste management schemes for
packaging, waste of electrical and electronic equipment and of end of life vehicle
dismantling and recycling, as well as other similar needs. The current
environment tax regime is both discriminatory in its selection of products
falling under this tax regime and the mechanisms for refunding or removal or
redirection of tax is cumbersome and often difficult to implement.

 

GRTU notes that government has
introduced ECO Contribution in September 1984, both as an environmental
obligation across the Board and also as a fiscal attribute. The introduction of
ECO contribution was a haphazard move and its consultation process left much to
be desired. Today a few years have passed and new environmental obligations place
both the Importer / Producer with a legal obligation towards the environment
and also tomorrow’s generations.

 

The GRTU effectively notes
that EU legislation in the environmental sector is here to stay. A number of
waste streams already carry a Directive in the form of making sure that the
Producer or importer is responsible for end of life of these waste streams.

 

Amongst these one notes the
following:

o      
Waste
Packaging Directive                                           LN 277
of 2006

o      
Waste
Electrical and Electronic Equipment                LN
63 of 2007

o      
End of Life
Vehicles Directive                                       LN
99 of 2004

 

The above legal notices
transpose into Maltese law three very important EU Directives in respect to
Waste Streams. It is as such now assumed that the importer / producer has a
legal obligation towards complying with these regulations and also currently
with the ECO Contribution.

 

The GRTU has gone in depth to
discuss this matter with its members and whilst it is understood that extended
producer responsibility is now being done in the form of ECO Contribution, it
does not however remove the obligation of the producer under the above legal
notices. As such, GRTU has set up a fully owned subsidiary, GREEN.MT with the
aim of managing such non profit Compliance schemes on behalf of all the members
who become part of its Scheme or Schemes.

 

In doing this GRTU has the
following recommendations to government which should be included in the Budget
for Fiscal Year 2008: 

 

a.     
Any member
of a Compliance Scheme should become exempt of any ECO Contribution (for that
particular waste stream) on the day he joins a Compliance Scheme, which is
authorized by MEPA (the competent Authority).

 

b.     
As the
number of products and items falling under the above Legal Notices, namely LN
277 of 2006 and LN 63 of 2007, are much more extensive then those currently
covered under ECO Contribution, the government should make sure through an
amendment to the current ECO Contribution Act by releasing anyone who is a
member of an authorized Scheme or Schemes from any ECO Contribution, whilst
reserving the absolute right to charge ECO Contribution to those importers or
producers who are not part of a Scheme and who place on the market any goods
covered by the Schedules of LN 277 of 2006 and LN 63 of 2007.

 

c.     
In respect
to EU Directive on End of Life Vehicles, which although transposed to Maltese
law, is currently not being implemented. The GRTU would urge the government to
consider decreasing Registration on imported vehicles and enforcing on
importers to be part of a Compliance Scheme/s and paying a related sum to the
Scheme/s for each vehicle placed on the market, with a view to making sure that
once the vehicle is being disposed off or deregistered, it is done in an
environmentally friendly manner at End of Life vehicles Facilities; according
to LN 99 0f 2004.

 

The GRTU is aware that there
are pending applications for End of Life Vehicles Facilities and as such urges
government to take a political decision and as soon as possible authorize the
operation of these facilities.

 

The GRTU firmly believes in
taking initiatives towards a sustainable environment, but this can only happen
with the good will of the government by taking up these matters and legislating
where necessary, in order to obtain the much needed results in the environment
sector.

 

 

  1. Localities

 

The expansion of economic
activities away from the more important commercial and administrative sectors
is a prime target of GRTU. We believe that with the expansion of
telecommunications it is easier to encourage the transfer of back-office
operation of government, push authorities and major enterprises to the localities.
This will not only create additional job opportunities away from the major and
traditional areas of employment, but also have an important impact on traffic,
the environment and the family network.

 

It would serve particularly to
boost the employment of women who have only a limi

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