28 February 2015

How does FATCA affect you?

What prompted me to get in touch was a recent spate of communication by some of you regarding FATCA. Some people who spoke to me are seriously concerned about the state of events and there is a lot of controversy about it.

The not-for-profit organization ACA claims that one of FATCA's problems is citizenship-based taxation. ACA is calling for the US to change its taxation system to a residence-based taxation as is the case with ALL other OECD countries.

The following links can give you a better insight into the subject: 


We would like to hear your thoughts and opinions on how this will affect you.

26 February 2015

US Ambassador Adresses Fatca Information Event

American citizens residing in Malta, including a number of returned Maltese migrants attended an information session at which the US FATCA legislation and its impact were explained by industry experts.

Her Excellency Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the US Ambassador to Malta was keynote speaker. Her opening address urged US taxpayers living in Malta to ensure their US tax affairs are in order.

Dr. Jonathan Phyall, Senior Legal & Compliance Officer at APS Bank Ltd explained that the Inter-Governmental Agreement signed between the Malta and US governments to implement FATCA imposes certain obligations on Maltese banks and financial institutions. As of this year, Maltese financial institutions are required to report to Malta’s Inland Revenue Department (IRD) financial assets held by American citizens in Malta. The first such report covering the period 1st July 2014 to 31st December 2014 is due shortly in April 2015.

Mr. Pierre Vella, a Project Manager at the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) described how the information collected from financial institutions and reported to the IRD will be transmitted to the Inland Revenue Service (IRS), the US tax authority.

Mr. Massimo Pelli, European Manager of Corporate TeamWorks Inc, a leading US tax consultancy represented in Malta by Athena International Ltd took the floor next. He clarified the point that all holders of US Passports or valid Green Cards have an obligation to make an annual tax declaration to the US IRS. In recognition of the fact that many expats or returned migrants may have non-wilfully omitted to make their IRS declarations, new “streamlined” procedures are currently available that offer US taxpayers the opportunity to reach compliance with the IRS without risk of penalties.

Contact Athena today or request a callback to find out more.



28 January 2015

Investment Opportunities in the U.S. and SelectUSA Summit

The U.S. is open for Business!

The U.S. Embassy in Malta in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce Malta will be organizing an information session on the SelectUSA Summit and investment opportunities in the United States on February 6, 2015.

If you run a business and are considering opening or expanding operations in the United States, this event will provide you with information on how to learn more about how, where and why to invest in the United States as well as details on the SelectUSA Summit in March.

Success in the U.S. market can help drive success globally. The United States is incredibly diverse, with the world’s most attractive consumer market, a thriving culture of innovation, and the most productive workforce. Companies of all sizes – from start-ups to multinationals – can find the ideas, resources and market they need to be competitive.

Attendance at the event is free, prior registration is required via email cassarm@state.gov or 25614120. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further information.

Date: Friday, February 6, 2015

Time: 10:00 – 12:00

Venue: Villa Apap Bologna, Attard


AGENDA

Information Session: Investment Opportunities in the U.S. and SelectUSA Summit

Venue: U.S. Ambassador Residence, Villa Apap Bologna, Attard

Friday, February 6, 2014

10:00                  US Ambassador to Malta H.E. Gina Abercrombie Winstanely
                           Opening remarks

10:05                  Andrea Rosa, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Consulate Milan
                           The SelectUSA program and the 2015 SelectUSA Summit

10:30                  Andrew Mangion, Executive Chairman, EC English Language Centres

                           Sharing the EC English experience in setting up in the U.S.

10:45                  Beth Herbolich, Consul, U.S. Embassy Vallletta

                           Introduction of “Investor Visa”

11:00                  Q&A


                           Networking Break - Light refreshments will be served.

21 January 2015


Calling all American expats!


Do you know all you should about FATCA?

Did you know that Americans are required to report their financial accounts held outside of the United States?

Are you aware that the governments of Malta and the US have agreed to exchange information in order to enforce this obligation?

Do you know how the law actually works in practice? Or how it may or may not relate to you individually?

Is it true that if Americans abroad may prosecuted by the IRS for tax fraud and other civil and criminal charges?

What are the “streamlined” filing procedures for non-resident US taxpayers issued in 2014?

Can you just renounce your US passport?

In view of the facts that Malta has already signed the FATCA agreement in 2013, and that reporting by Maltese financial institutions will begin in 2015, it is important for any US taxpayers residing in Malta or with financial accounts in Malta to act fast in order to come into compliance.


Find out the answers to the above and more at Malta’s first FATCA information event hosted by Athena International Ltd. Industry and government experts will explain how the legislation works in practice and its implications.


Register your attendance to join this free information session!

http://www.athena.com.mt/fatca-information-event

Date: 13th February 2015
Time: 10.00 - 12.00
Venue: Van Gogh Room, Riviera Resort, Marfa (Mellie─ža)

For the convenience of those living in Gozo, complimentary transport will be available to/from the Cirkewwa ferry and the seminar.Please note that this must be booked in advance.

Ample free parking is available on site.

21 December 2014

Ambassador Marisa Micallef attends a Simshar screening in West Hollywood

Ambassador Marisa Micallef recently attended a screening of "Simshar" directed by Rebecca Cremona which is currently in the race for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

Simshar is one of 83 films competing for 5 nomination spots which will then be competing for the 87th Oscar event to be held next February.

This film is inspired by true events that occurred in 2008 while the theme of immigration is also skillfully weaved in.

The screening on the 18th of November was held in West Hollywood and Ambassador Micallef noted a very positive reception from those present.

Ambassador Marisa Micallef said,” I was delighted to watch the film among the top industry professionals who received it so well. Many people in the USA are as yet unaware of the huge challenges faced by Malta and this very interesting film highlights the human face behind these challenges. We are very proud of Rebecca Cremona and the whole team that supported her."

During the month of November Ambassador Micallef also networked with contacts in LA, NYC and in the entertainment industry in general and elsewhere to support the film in every way possible.


Some sponsorship was also organised by Ambassador Marisa Micallef and the Embassy of Malta would like to thank.Honorary Consul General Hugh Cassar most especially for his much valued and appreciated sponsorhip which assisted this demanding campaign to promote the film Simshar, and Hon Consul General Louis Vella for his contacts and support with the Maltese community in San Francisco.

22 November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving


Source:  http://www.w8themes.com/

The Library of Congress and The Kennedy Centre, Washington DC for Eurokids 2014

In November 2014, the Embassy of the Republic of Malta participated in the Kids Euro Festival, which was organised by the EU Delegation to the United States with a show from More or Less Theatre.

The Executive Director of the European American Cultural Foundation Kimberley Heatherington thanked Ambassador Marisa Micallef and said that this”enthusiasm for Kids Euro Festival and the spirit it represents means a great deal to the American European Cultural Foundation...and that it is only through this kind of collaboration that the Kids Euro Festival is at all possible.”

Malcolm Galea and Joseph Zammit performed in four shows while in Washington, performing The Complete History of Malta (More or Less) at two significant venues, the Kennedy Centre Millennium Stage and a first for Malta… at the Library of Congress…as well as in two schools Sheridan School and the Mansion at Strathmore where these two talented performers brought the house down.

This two-week long festival is a joint cultural diplomacy initiative of the EU Embassies in Washington and is a wonderful showcase of European arts and culture that presents many free activities to families and, particularly, to children. This year’s more than 200 events included performances, concerts, workshops, movies, storytelling, puppetry, dance, magic, cinema and more. For more information about the Kids Euro Festival, please visit: http://kidseurofestival.org/.

The Embassy of Malta in Washington DC would like to thank the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Cultural Diplomacy Fund and the generosity of the benefactors of the European-American Cultural Foundation, for having made the whole event possible.