The Unshell / Shell Company Directive of the EU

Recently I attended a seminar of the Malta Institute of Taxation or MIT. The MIT is where all Malta tax practitioners are registered with – which made the seminar rather technical. I have a summary of the seminar available here.

There have been a few milestones in tax and international tax over the last years. They normally find their place in the tax world after a press finding or a report like the Panama, Paradise, Malta, Luxembourg, Swiss Papers. Such revelations have had quite an impact on legislators and enforcement authorities. You have to give the journalists and members of the press credit, that

a)   They made quite a bit of money with such revelations

b)   Gave the heads of the revelations super star status

c)   Some of the publications actually reported and exposed dirty business

d)   The general public was triggered in a way like never before

e)   The publications delivered a great of amount of legal and tax planning certainty

f)    The “bad” clients left the financial service centres

g)   Places like Malta skyrocketed after every new publication.


Apart from the obvious interest of each country, especially of the “rich” (high tax countries), there is a new advantage and interest at the same time, that the press revelations purposely provided: a public interest and outcry. Public interest in the topic itself but also interest for politicians to change laws. Make rules more strict. Close loopholes. And foremost politicians present themselves as moral white knights who represent the interest for all the good reasons.

The fact remains that the whole game, to be fair on both sides, is only and exclusively about money. There is no moral or higher goal, it’s just about money.

…Places like Malta skyrocketed after every new publication…

When I say skyrocketed, I mean that there was a remarkable upswing in clients, property prices and quality of life. All together the measures of authorities, the EU and OECD made places like Malta, at least from my humble perspective a lot stronger, as opposed to weaker (which potentially was the angle and true purpose of the members of the press in the first place)

How that?

All measures so far are clever, complicated and quite prescriptive. BEPS, the Anti Tax Avoidance Directive 1 2 and 3, appear to have made the incorporation but moreover the legal maintenance of company in a so called tax haven a lot more burdensome.

Yes. But for whom is more difficult?

Now comes the interesting twist: My colleagues and fellow members of the MIT have been rather sceptical in regards to the publications and the following measures like the BEPS initiative from the OECD, the ATAD 1 and 2 and now, ATAD 3.

May I even say it was and is rather a doomsday atmosphere.

“What are we going to do ?” “How can Malta survive that” “it’s all over”. I need to admit that after the first occasions, I was following or inclined to follow the professional sentiment. But after experiencing the actual impact, I also need to admit:

I look very much forward to similar revelations and the measures afterwards.

So why and how am I so euphoric?

Plain and simple: I have been anticipating the development for over 10 years.

That’s right: Where until now my colleagues, and with them a huge part of the industry and culture are still thinking way too legal and technical, I have been a herald of a simple truth: Do it right, or don’t do it. Most of the time that means for any interested person who cannot MOVE or RELOCATE to Malta: Don’t do it.

I have been specialising into relocation for over 10 years now and we always learn every day, one thing has remained the same unshakable truth, which the previous mentioned papers and measures and developments and this new pamphlet have in common for that matter:

If you relocate to Malta, you have nothing to fear.

Not only from a legal perspective in the context of any of the measures of the last and past 15 years! Also with a great amount of certainty for the next 10 years!

And you are not only safe. You will save a massive amount of tax.

And you have nothing to fear because I am also here in Malta. And behind me the force and abilities of the largest German firm in Malta: Dr. Werner & Partner. We are here for the same reason you are here or for which should come here:

Ultimately, all factors considered, Malta was, is and will be the best location in the world to move to for tax purposes.

More beautiful, more EU, more ocean, more safe, less taxes, more developed, with a better infrastructure, more democracy and closer to central Europe, than

  1. Dubai
  2. Cyprus
  3. Portugal
  4. Madeira
  5. UK
  6. Romania
  7. Switzerland
  8. Bulgaria
  9. Etc

The unshell directive could be not more German.
The German word “Wertschöpfung” is the key. If you check any article about a similar topic in my blog you find a lot about this word, in English I refer to it as “Value Creation or Driving” and the persons doing exactly that as “Key Value Drivers” – mark my words, since over 10 years I have been preaching that. Since over 10 years I am preaching what now seems to become legal reality

As above stated, please see the legal summary for the directive here.

The key take away is: RELOCATE.

If you want to be planning safely and saVe saFely: RELOCATE.

And my honest professional verdict and objective advice is: RELOCATE TO MALTA.

And let me assist and advise you.Objectively. And honestly.

About Philipp M. Sauerborn

Philipp Maria Sauerborn is a certified tax advisor and expert in International Tax & Blockchain. As CEO of Dr. Werner & Partner in Malta, he has already advised over 3000 clients on their tax situation.

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The above-mentioned article is simply based on independent research carried out by Philipp Sauerborn and cannot constitute any form of legal advice. If you would like to receive further information, please contact us for an appointment.

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