Govt reduced VAT on facemasks and face shields to 5%

Difference between the price cap announced and the price at which the items were originally purchased will be compensated

Pastor Matt Johnson of One1Seven evangelical Anglican church wears personal protective equipment while distributing food to those in need, an approved essential service during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Sydney, Australia, April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The VAT charged on face masks and face shields will go down from 18% to 5%. This was announced by the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Silvio Schembri, following the announcement earlier this week with regards to the price capping for face masks, which are now being sold to a maximum price cap of 95c, and face shields at €5.

The decrease in VAT charge came into effect as from today through a published legal notice.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Minister Schembri explained that, in view of these measures, pharmacies will also be compensated for the difference between the price cap announced and the price at which the items were originally purchased. In view of this, the COVID-19 Masks Subsidy Scheme has been launched, aimed at aiding pharmacies in alleviating wholesale cost-induced losses borne by the introduction of the capping, while also safeguarding the wider public’s interests.

The scheme which can be accessed online will be administered by Mimcol, which falls under the auspices of the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses.

All eligible parties for the COVID-19 Masks Subsidy Scheme will be granted a refund for disposable surgical mask stocks bought over the period between the 17th of April and not later than 4th of May 2020.

The government said that the refund is reflective of the difference between the purchased wholesale price (inclusive of VAT) and the €0.95 capping, not exceeding €0.70 per mask.

Applicants need to provide the administering entity with invoice references, including stock quantity levels and respective purchase prices over that same period.

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