Raising cultural incentives - A business breakfast hosted by Deloitte Malta
On 13 November, Deloitte Malta, under the auspices of Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Dr Owen Bonnici, hosted a business breakfast at their offices in Mrieħel, during which existing and proposed tax incentives relating to donations and endowments made to the Cultural Heritage Fund, heritage NGOs, and research entities were discussed.
Malcolm Booker, Deloitte Malta CEO, made an address at the opening of the event. He said, “Deloitte is honoured to be part of a team which is working towards promoting the importance of our cultural heritage and seeking ways in which there can be a closer collaboration between the private and public sector in order to achieve common goals in the interest of the country.”
The Minister, Owen Bonnici discussed the Government’s commitment in taking a leading role in facilitating current work practices, research future possibilities and to entice new ventures concerning Cultural Heritage. He went on to explain that laws are currently being updated, particularly an upgrade of the law regulating the Arts Council Malta (Chapter 444) that was set up to encourage and promote culture within a wide perspective of socio-economic activity and the law regulating the Cultural Heritage that was set up to make provision in place of the Antiquities (Protection) Act, Cap. 54 for the superintendence, conservation and management of cultural heritage in Malta.
A main point of focus during the event was the Cultural Heritage Fund, originally set up to function as a financial support mechanism with a vision to invest in areas such as research, conservation or restoration of the cultural heritage but which has been dormant for the past 12 years. Apart from the direct injection by the central administration, the Minister explained that this was an area in which there was potential for the private sector and private individuals to get involved.
Conrad Cassar Torregiani, Leader International Tax at Deloitte, then went on to provide an overview of the legal framework regulating the Cultural Heritage Fund and the tax incentives currently available under the National Heritage Donations Rules which are intended to promote donations ultimately intended for research, conservation or restoration, education or the exhibition of cultural heritage. In particular, reference was made to the tax deductible nature of qualifying donations made to The Superintendent of Cultural Heritage, Heritage Malta, Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti or other qualifying non-Government cultural heritage organisations. A comparative analysis of the tax incentives available in select countries was also provided in an attempt to shed light on the kind of additional incentives which might be contemplated locally to further promote the donation of funds by businesses and private individuals to ensure the protection and accessibility of Malta’s cultural heritage. A brainstorming session then followed amongst those present intended to explore those factors which might help convince the allocation of greater proportions of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) budgets and private wealth toward the protection and accessibility of Malta’s cultural heritage.
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Deloitte Malta refers to a civil partnership, constituted between limited liability companies, and its affiliated operating entities, Deloitte Services Limited, Deloitte Legal, Deloitte Technology Solutions 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 here. Cassar Torregiani & Associates is a firm of advocates warranted to practise law in Malta and is exclusively authorised to provide legal services, in Malta, under the Deloitte brand.
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