Consultation on cultural heritage discusses tax rebates

Tax incentives were introduced in 2002 allowing tax deductable cash donations exceeding €2,320 or assets for five entities listed in Cultural Heritage Act

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
13 November 2014, 11:02am
Justice and culture minister Owen Bonnici discusses the reform of the Cultural Heritage Act at the Deloitte offices in Mriehel
Justice and culture minister Owen Bonnici discusses the reform of the Cultural Heritage Act at the Deloitte offices in Mriehel
Justice and culture minister Owen Bonnici will be launching a public consultation on the reform of the legal framework for Malta’s cultural heritage to incentivise private sector investment.

Speaking at Deloitte’s Mriehel offices this morning, the minister said the results of the consultation will be used in the process of redefining Malta’s Cultural Heritage Act.

In his address, Bonnici underlined the importance of cultural heritage to the economy and national identity, emphasising the need to “maximise the uniqueness that this heritage brings to us.”

“It would be mutually beneficial for both government and the business sector to cooperate towards this aim… it would be naive to expect that a project such as this can be borne solely by government,” Bonnici said.

Deloitte tax director Conrad Cassar Torregiani said that as it stands, the Cultural Heritage Act creates five entities to which cultural heritage is entrusted, each with defined roles. However, he added, there was an element of overlap. 

Tax incentives were introduced in 2002 by means of subsidiary legislation. As it stands, any cash donation exceeding €2,320 or assets excluding real estate is tax deductible if made to the bodies listed in the law.

“Tax deductions are good, but are they enough?” asked Cassar Torregiani, describing the cultural heritage tax incentives offered in other countries as models for consideration.

“In Hungary, repeat donations add a benefit of a 20% deduction aside from the tax rebate,” he said, whilst comparing local tax incentives with those of several jurisdictions around the world.  By way of example he mentioned the Fontana di Trevi, currently being restored by the private sector. Donations entitled the donor to a tax credit equal to 65% of the amount donated.

Referring to the Valletta V18 project, the minister said that these are exciting times for Malta. He described the Valletta V18 project as an ideal platform to showcase Malta’s unique qualities.

In order to maintain Malta’s unique cultural heritage, the minister told the meeting how the government was in the process of updating a number of laws to better reflect modern realities. 36 laws and 116 legal notices have been taken off the statute book and nine laws have been consolidated.

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Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...