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MIA News

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  • 6 Jul 2020 09:33 | Anonymous
    Click here to see the social throwback.
  • 3 Jul 2020 09:00 | Anonymous
    Earlier in June 2020, the Malta Institute of Accountants (MIA) has contributed to the European Commission’s Consultation document on the review of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). This was tackled through a Working Group set up composed of a few members of the MIA Financial Reporting Committee as well as MIA members, nominated by the said Committee.
    The aim of this consultation is to collect the views of stakeholders regarding possible revisions to the provisions of the NFRD. The NFRD requires large companies, specifically Public Interest Entities with more than 500 employees, to include a non-financial statement as part of their annual public reporting obligations. There are 4 main sustainability issues that are core to the NFRD:
    1.      Environment
    2.      Social and employee Issues
    3.      Human Rights
    4.      Bribery and Corruption
    Companies are required to disclose information surrounding these issues, including information about their business model, policies, outcomes, risk and risk management and key performance indicators. In compliance with the NFRD companies must disclose the double materiality perspective, this means that they must not only disclose how sustainability issues could affect the company but must also disclose how the company affects the society and environment in which it is operating.
    It is clear, that in today’s current environment the non-financial information needs of users, especially investors have increased substantially. There is the demand for more and better information that will help users better understand the financial risks resulting from the sustainability crises we are currently facing and the demand to have products that address the environmental and social problems.
    The main problem noted is that there is currently inadequate publicly available information on how non-financial issues and sustainability issues impact companies, and how companies in turn impact the society and environment. There is also a degree of uncertainty and complexity as to what type of non-financial information to report as well as how and where to report it. One may also note that companies are also incurring unnecessary and avoidable costs with regards to the reporting of non-financial information.
    Through this consultation the European Commission is working towards its commitment to review the NFRD in 2020 as part of the European Green Deal’s strategy - to strengthen the foundations of sustainable investment. The aim of NFRD is to strengthen sustainable finance by improving transparency. Companies must shift their focus from short-term financial performance to long-term development and sustainability.
    The outbreak of COVID-19 has shown how economic, social, and environmental aspects are interlinked; therefore, companies should make the shift towards prioritising shareholder’s long-term interests. This step towards revising the NFRD and all the input that contributed to such a consultation is an important element that can help us achieve this.
  • 26 Jun 2020 13:01 | Anonymous
    Reference is made to the DIER reduction of the €400 wage supplement top-up declaration form. The MIA has been working with the DIER on the subject matter.  Employers are now being classified into three different categories and DIER declaration submissions vary by category, as highlighted below:
    Category 1
    Employers within this category are:
    a) Sole traders with a maximum of 5 employees; or
    b) Partnerships with up to a maximum of 5 employees; or
    c) Private companies with a maximum of 5 employees with a balance sheet total that does not exceed €100,000.
    These Employers are required to submit the Category 1 declaration, which should be signed ONLY by a representative of the employer. In this category the signature of a warranted accountant is NOT required. 
    Category 2
    These are Employers, which do not meet the criteria for Category 1 classification. These Employers are required to submit the Category 2 declaration, which should be signed by a representative of the employer AND by a warranted accountant. The warranted accountant signing off will be the accountant employed or contracted/engaged by the employer – in lieu of an employed accountant - to assemble and prepare the management financial information of the employer, utilised for the purposes of the declaration.
    Category 3
    Employers which do not fall within Categories 1 or 2 and which do not have an employed or contracted warranted accountant to assemble and prepare the management financial information of the employer for the purposes of this declaration, are required to engage a warranted accountant to support the Employer’s assessment that the Employer was not in a financial position to commit to the monthly wage top-up payment of €400 per employee, over and above the COVID Wage Supplement that is being granted by Malta Enterprise.
    The Employers in Category 3, are required to submit to the DIER the Category 1 declaration, which should be signed SOLELY by a representative of the Employer and a copy of the Agreed Upon Procedures Document (AUP) signed by the warranted accountant they engaged.
     
    Any queries on the subject matter should be directed to technical@miamalta.org.
  • 4 Jun 2020 11:02 | Anonymous
    On the 29th of May 2020 the Malta institute of Accountants (MIA) together with the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP) and the Malta Institute of Taxation (MIT) held a joint webinar on the online application for the registration of a Fiscal Unit in terms of the Consolidated Group (Income Tax) Rules. This is a new concept issued by the CfR on the 18th of May 2020. The webinar was well attended with over 370 professionals joining in for the 1-hour long session. Read more...
  • 29 May 2020 15:21 | Anonymous
    Online webinar: 4th May – COVID-19 DIER - Conditions of Work - Q&A Session
    As a response to the frequently asked questions by MIA members, being currently asked in light of the recent COVID-19 disruptions on employment, the MIA invited representatives from the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER) to provide clarity on queries such as:
    Can I force my employees to go on vacation leave?
    Does an employer need permission when employees go on unpaid leave?
    To read more, click here.
  • 17 Apr 2020 12:40 | Anonymous
    As the approved accountancy body, the MIA is delegated a number of tasks by the Accountancy Board. This include accreditation of CPE Activities as stipulated in Directive 1 issued in terms of the Accountancy Profession Act.
    Course providers offering courses which are relevant to the accountancy profession can accredit their courses with the MIA. Accreditation is normally sought by the course provider as a marketing tool to promote the event amongst MIA members and warrant holders. On the other hand, participating/attending accredited courses provides the peace of mind that the course applies for CPE purposes.
    The MIA has liaised with the Accountancy Board to revise the Accreditation Rules of face-to-face courses. Such Rules have been approved by the Board on 15 April 2020.  
    Earlier on this month, the Board approved a set of new temporary rules pertaining to online courses in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. The MIA has worked closely with the Board in this regard for the benefit of both members and course providers. Such Rules can be accessed via the following link.

     


  • 8 Apr 2020 10:00 | Anonymous
    Government sets up National Office for FDI Screening
    All interested practitioners are hereby being informed that the National Foreign Direct Investment Screening Office (hereinafter ‘the Office’) has been set up in order to implement the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2019/452 establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union.
    The scope and remit of the Office shall be to screen new FDI projects, joint ventures with a foreign component and the transfer of any shares and/or controlling interests in existing companies where the owner, titleholder or ultimate beneficial owner originates from third countries (that is, any country which is not a member of the European Union). 
    The purpose of the screening process is to protect European Union intelligence, knowledge and technology as well as the security interests of the Union. The sectors which shall be subject to screening (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Relative Activities’) include the following:
    (a) critical infrastructure, whether physical or virtual, including energy, transport, water, health, communications, media, data processing or storage, aerospace, defence, electoral or financial infrastructure, and sensitive facilities, as well as land and real estate crucial for the use of such infrastructure;
    (b) critical technologies and dual-use items as defined in point 1 of Article 2 of Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 (15), including artificial intelligence, robotics, semiconductors, cybersecurity, aerospace, defense, energy storage, quantum, and nuclear technologies as well as nanotechnologies and biotechnologies;
    (c) supply of critical inputs, including energy or raw materials, as well as food security;
    (d) access to sensitive information, including personal data, or the ability to control such information; and
    (e) the freedom and pluralism of the media.
    Consequently, it is of crucial importance that business practitioners in Malta (including audit and accounting firms, legal firms, business consultants and all practitioners who are in any way involved in the promotion of foreign direct investment ) are to observe the procedures which are being outlined hereunder.
    Prior to submitting the documents required by the Malta Business Registry (hereinafter ‘MBR’) for the purpose of company registration, all applications for business relative to the above-mentioned sectors will need to obtain the necessary clearance from the Screening Office. Hence, they are to submit an application for such purpose with the Office which shall contain the following information:   
    1. the ownership structure of the foreign investor and of the undertaking in which the foreign direct investment is planned to be made or has been made, including information on the ultimate investor and/or beneficial owner and participation in the capital;
    2. the approximate value of the foreign direct investment;
    3. the products, services and business operations of the foreign investor and of the undertaking in which the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed;
    4. the jurisdictions, including Member States, in which the foreign investor and the undertaking in which the foreign direct investment is planned or has been completed to conduct relevant business operations;
    5. the funding of the investment and its source;
    6. the date when the foreign direct investment is planned to be completed or has been completed; and
    7. any other information as the Office may reasonably require for the proper execution of its functions in accordance with this Act.
    In order to allow an adequate transitional period for the introduction and implementation of the screening process, MBR shall, with effect from the 1st April, 2020, forward to the Office all relevant applications for company registration and share transfers relative to third country nationals / interests.
    It is important to underline that, notwithstanding the practice to define the Objects of the company to be registered in wide-ranging terms, the core activities which the company shall be undertaking are to be clearly indicated in the Memorandum, whereas activities of a superfluous nature are to be excluded. In case of doubt, the service provider may seek an initial opinion from the Office which will give the necessary guidance as may be required in the case in question.
    The Office would like to reassure practitioners that it is not its intention to create any unnecessary bureaucracy, so much so that in those cases where it is clear that the activities do not require screening, the Office shall endavour to give the green-light to MBR within 24 hours.
    With regards to the Relative Activities, it is to be noted that a full screening process will be undertaken with full due diligence on the activity and on the ultimate beneficial owner.  This process will take some time to conclude, although the Office will exert its best endeavours to conclude the process in the shortest time possible whilst not compromising, in any way, the extent and quality of the screening to be conducted, and could also involve some expenses to the promoter, depending on the case.
    Kindly be informed that the Office shall be governed by a Board which shall be chaired by Mr. Mario Galea (ex-CEO, Malta Enterprise).
     
    Further information may be obtained from:
    Mario Galea
    Email: mario.galea@nfdismalta.com
    Mob: 00356 99213344


  • 7 Apr 2020 10:49 | Anonymous
    As the approved accountancy body, the MIA is delegated a number of tasks by the Accountancy Board. This include accreditation of CPE Activities as stipulated in Directive 1 issued in terms of the Accountancy Profession Act.
    Course providers offering courses which are relevant to the accountancy profession can accredit their courses with the MIA. Accreditation is normally sought by the course provider as a marketing tool to promote the event amongst MIA members and warrant holders. On the other hand, participating/attending accredited courses provides the peace of mind that the course applies for CPE purposes.
    Accreditation is governed by the Accreditation Rules, which up till recently covered only face-to-face courses. In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, the MIA has liaised with the Accountancy Board to issue a set of new temporary rules pertaining to online courses to complement the existing face-to-face accreditation rules.
    The Accreditation Rules for online courses have been approved by the Accountancy Board on 3 April 2020 and are applicable with immediate effect. These will continue to apply till the COVID-19 stipulated measures will cease to apply.
    The Accreditation Rules for online courses can be accessed via the following link.
  • 7 Apr 2020 07:58 | Anonymous
    WE ARE NOT IMMUNE – THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON REGULATED PROFESSIONS

    The Malta Institute of Accountants, together with the other professional bodies met (virtually) over the past few weeks to discuss how the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their professional activities and those of the significant number of persons working within those professional practices.
    As professional bodies we believe that our professions form an integral part of the community we live and practice in, and that we have a duty to contribute our experience and expertise towards a balanced solution to the economic issues being faced by the country as a whole.
    On Wednesday 1 April representatives of each of the professional bodies met with Minister Silvio Schembri and discussed with the Minister our proposals for (i) a National Strategy for economic measures to be considered by Government in addressing the severe economic and social difficulties that have been brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak; and (ii) a specific set of measures aimed at assisting our professions within the context of the national strategy proposed.
    Following surveys run by each of the professional bodies it is evident that whilst the full extent of the impact going forward is yet unknown, the immediate impact has been severe and the outlook bleak.  If this situation were to be prolonged, it will place self-employed professionals under significant pressure to meet their payment obligations and will place firms under severe pressure with underutilized human resources to meet their significant salary bills.
    In our proposals to Government, we acknowledged that there are economic sectors in the country that can be considered as “higher impact” and that any economic measures of state intervention are to prioritise those sectors; indeed we concurred with the strategy of Government to do so, however, cautioned that the professions are not immune to this environment.
    The six specific measures proposed to Government can be found in the following presentation:
    WE ARE NOT IMMUNE_Presentation by professional bodies.pdf
    Minister Schembri was receptive to the proposals and indeed he expressed an agreement in principle with the proposals made. The issue of debate is really, how and when would be the right time to implement them given that Government had to prioritise other sectors with urgency since the difficulties in those were more pronounced.
    The Minister also stated that in any event these measures cannot be adopted across the board within professions, and that even within the same profession one would have to make the case that assistance was necessary. Any scheme that will be in place would need to have sufficient flexibility to enable it to be applied on a case by case basis, taking into account, within each profession who required the assistance most. Not all professional accountants are in the same boat, and some would require assistance more than others, or indeed before others.  In this context he reiterated his agreement in principle with the proposals and directed the professions to make further representations with the Ministers responsible for their respective professions.
     
    Malta Institute of Accountants
    As an Institute we shall be pursuing the implementation of these measures by making further representations with the Minister for Finance and Financial Services of the importance of the introduction of these measures to give assurance to our profession that assistance will be available at the right time.
    The activity of certain professional accountants is not dissimilar to other sectors where work has reduced drastically or has come to a complete standstill.  Accordingly, those accountants whose livelihood has suffered a significant or almost complete drop in income or revenue have an arguable case to make, even now, and without having to wait for any particular scheme or measure to be announced, to qualify for certain assistance packages that have already been announced.   Each accountant falling is this category should, therefore, make his/her case to Malta Enterprise and apply for relief. We understand that where a reasonable case can be made Malta Enterprise is giving such cases due consideration.  Evidently, each case will be evaluated on its own merits and the relief granted will be a function of proportionality to the difficulties faced by the professional concerned.
    The Institute also refers its members to the CFR’s notification in relation to COVID-19: Fiscal Assistance - Postponement of Payment of Certain Taxes taking into account the latest feedback received in respect of the possibility of the extension of the postponement of taxes to those professional accountants who can genuinely demonstrate that they are experiencing difficulty in effecting payments.  The Institute also emphasizes the fact that the Malta Development Bank has just launched the COVID-19 Guarantee Scheme (CGS).  We also understand that the legislative tool in respect of moratorium on credit facilities is being implemented.
    Those who apply for relief and assistance are urged to inform the Institute that they have done so that such cases may be followed up by the Institute.


  • 17 Mar 2020 14:21 | Deleted user
    The Malta Institute of Accountants has been recognised as an approved accountancy body for accountants in Malta by the Minister of Finance
    See document here
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