COVID – 19 – Suspension of Legal Times under the Revenue Acts

The Government has by means of LN 135 of 2020 issued the Suspension of Legal Times (Revenue Acts) Order, by virtue of which any legal time referred to below has been suspended with effect from the date on which this Order comes into force. This applies to all legal times, including prescription periods and peremptory […]

Written By Shanice Finch

On April 8, 2020
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The Government has by means of LN 135 of 2020 issued the Suspension of Legal Times (Revenue Acts) Order, by virtue of which any legal time referred to below has been suspended with effect from the date on which this Order comes into force.

This applies to all legal times, including prescription periods and peremptory periods imposed under any Revenue Act (meaning the Income Tax act, the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act, the Income Tax Management Act and the Value added Tax Act) for the 

  1. making by the CfR of any assessment, demand for payment, request for information, decision or order and the issue and service of any notice
  2. payment by the CfR of any refund of tax
  3. institution, execution or continuation of any judicial action for the collection of tax, additional tax, administrative penalty or interest, or for the prosecution or request for the prosecution of any criminal offence.

The suspension of legal times shall remain in force until such date prescribed by means of another order issued by the Superintendent under the Public Health Act.

This means that any legal time that commenced running before the suspension came into force, but has not yet expired before that date shall be suspended and shall continue running again for the remaining period as from the date of the end of the suspension.  This also means that any legal time that would have commenced running while the suspension is in force (were it not for this order) shall commence running as from the date of the end of the suspension.

Furthermore, when the Superintendent orders the closure of any Revenue Department for the purpose of guarding against the spread of any epidemics or diseases, any legal time which would have expired if not for this order, during the period of closure or during the period of 28 days following the period of closure, shall be suspended.

This applies to times imposed under any Revenue Act for:

  • The furnishing, delivery, filing or submission to the CfR of any return, form, claim, objection, appeal, notice or information;
  • The payment or remittance to the CfR of any tax due by or collected or withheld by any person.

This shall not apply to and shall not suspend any legal time for the submission of any return, form, claim or notice or the making of any payment that is required to be made by electronic means. The suspension of a legal time as provided in this article shall be deemed to expire on the 28th day following the date a closure order comes into effect.

How can we help?  

For further information, please contact one of the firm’s tax partners, Stephen Balzan on [email protected] or Elaine Camilleri [email protected]. ACT can help you understand the changes to the tax rules and how these can impact your business.  

Apart from its offices in St. Julian’s Malta, ACT operates from a second office in Gozo, which is situated in the capital city of Victoria.  For an appointment in our Gozo office, please call on 00356 21378672 or send us an email on [email protected].