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New VAT invoicing rules - Key features (Update)



28 June 2013
Supplement to VAT Insight Issue No. 2012/04


Amendments to the new VAT invoicing rules

As explained in our VAT Insight Issue No. 2012/04, on 1 January 2013, changes to the VAT invoicing rules came into force. However, since the introduction of the changes, certain amendments have already been made thereto. These amendments have come into force with retroactive effect (i.e. as from 1 January 2013). This supplement to VAT Insight Issue No. 2012/04 aims to provide an overview of the rules that were amended (the amendments have been underlined below).

Deadline for issuance of tax invoices

The deadline by which a tax invoice is required to be issued has been altered. Tax invoices must now be issued by not later than the fifteenth day of the month following that in which the chargeable event takes place or the date on which a payment is received, whichever is the earlier (except where any payment on account precedes an intra-Community supply of goods).

Date when VAT becomes chargeable

Item 3 of the Fourth Schedule to the VAT Act provides that “the tax on a supply which takes place in Malta (other than an exempt intra-Community supply of goods) becomes chargeable on the earlier of the following two dates: (a) the date when the chargeable event takes place; and (b) the date when a payment is made for the supply to the extent covered by that payment”. However, in terms of the proviso to item 3, the tax becomes chargeable on the date the tax invoice is issued provided that it is issued within a specific deadline.

This deadline in the proviso to item 3 (which was previously 30 days) has been amended so as to reflect the amended deadline for issuance of tax invoices (see above) and now reads, “Provided that where a tax invoice is issued by the fifteenth day of the month following the date determined under the foregoing provisions of this subsection the tax becomes chargeable on the date of the invoice”.

Cash basis of accounting

As explained in our VAT Insight Issue No. 2012/04, retailers, civil, mechanical or electrical engineering contractors whose annual turnover does not exceed €2,000,000 (exclusive of VAT) retain the option to account for VAT on a cash basis. However, paragraph (1) of item 2 of Part Three of the Fourteenth Schedule to the VAT Act has been revised to clarify that where a tax invoice issued by such person applying the cash accounting scheme for a supply made by him does not contain the reference “cash accounting” – which reference is required in terms of item 3(k) of the Twelfth Schedule – the cash accounting scheme shall not apply to that supply.

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Storage of invoices

The VAT Department has also issued some practical guidance in relation to the new VAT invoicing rules. The guidance provides an overview of the provisions introduced in the Malta VAT Act, and also clarifies that “invoices must be stored in the original form in which they were sent or made available, whether paper or electronic”.

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For more information please contact:

Mark Grech
Deloitte Malta


About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

Deloitte Malta refers to a civil partnership, constituted between limited liability companies, and its affiliated operating entities; Deloitte Services Limited and Deloitte Audit Limited. The latter is authorised to provide audit services in Malta in terms of the Accountancy Profession Act.A list of the corporate partners, as well as the principals authorised to sign reports on behalf of the firm, is available at

Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte has in the region of 200,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms, or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte Network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. No entity in the Deloitte Network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication.

© 2013. For information, contact Deloitte Malta.



Mark Grech
Deloitte Malta
Job Title:
Leader Indirect Tax
+356 2343 2704

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