A Guide to Notaries’ Fees and Expenses in Malta
Everyone will encounter notarial fees and expenses at some point in their life, so it is important for the public to be informed of what these expenses consist of, as well as to know of any services which are available to them in order to ensure a more streamlined experience.
This article will cover the essential points which people should be aware of; such as that notarial fees are regulated by law and thus should be standard, and that there is a difference between fees and expenses.
We’ll also explain how to use the billing calculator offered by the Kunsill Notarili ta’ Malta, which is available to the public to calculate the exact the fees established by law, making it simpler for people to calculate what they owe and avoid any unwanted surprises.
Find the billing calculator at: http://www.notariesofmalta.org/members/calculators/bills/
Notaries’ fees are standard by law
Firstly, it is important to emphasise that notarial fees should be standard as they are regulated by law – namely Chapter 55 of the Laws of Malta. The law states that notaries should thus charge circa the same amount for the same service.
In Chapter 55, under Notarial Profession and Notarial Archives of the Laws of Malta, one can find a list of services provided by notaries and the corresponding fees, with the ranges from the minimum to the maximum amount also listed to give the public an idea of what they should be charged. The public can easily make use of this service and a glance at this document will give people a guide as to what they can expect to pay when visiting a notary for whichever service they require.
Fees and expenses are two different things
However, the public should keep in mind that there is a difference between fees and expenses, and the following points will outline in which circumstances these expenses may vary. While notarial fees should be standard, expenses may increase in the following circumstances:
- Searches: a complicated root title can lead to expensive, time-consuming searches and thus will increase the expense from the usual standard fee.
- Land Registration Area: if a property falls within a Land Registration Area, the transfer of property needs to be registered at the Land Registry, in addition to the normal Public Registry registrations.
- Examination of root title: in this case the Notary can choose which percentage to apply as the choice would vary depending on the complexity of the searches, as well as the time spent on vetting.
- Burdens on property: when there are burdens on property, such as when a hypothec needs to be cancelled so that no third parties will have any rights over the property, this counts as a burden and thus involves extra work for the notary.
Since these circumstances involve extra work for the notary and often with no defined time limit, the related expenses will go beyond standard fees and is up to the notary to define.
How to use the online billing calculator
An online billing calculator is also available for the public, provided by the Notaries of Malta, which is extremely useful to calculate, in detail, the many fees and expenses that one might encounter when dealing with a Notary.
Next, we shall give a rundown of how you should use this billing calculator to your own benefit.
At the top of the calculator the ‘General Details’ are required:
- Client Name
- Legal Service
- Invoice Date
‘Disbursements’ is the next section of the calculator, with several categories listed in one column, such as Property Transfer Value, Value of any Other Hypothec to be registered, Total Cost of Searches, etc. There are also 4 other different columns:
- A column with the Euro sign listed where the public can input the amount according to the category.
- A second column where additional amounts can be inputted, or rates and fees can be selected.
- The third column is darker than the rest and shows the duty owed automatically once a Euro amount is inputted.
- The last column is for Other Registrations. All fees indicated with ‘GL’ mean that these are according to Notarial Council Guidelines whilst other fees are established by law.
At the bottom of this section ‘Total Disbursements’ is also listed, which is automatically added up as you input your figures.
The next section of the calculator is ‘Fees’. Again, here there are 5 columns:
- List of Fees, such as ‘Promise of Sale’, ‘No. of Searches Ordered’, ‘Submission of Inland Revenue Tax’ and more.
- The second column allows users to input a Euro amount, however, users can also tick or untick a checkbox, or select from a drop-down menu of options depending on the category.
- The third column also indicates Euro amount and users can also select from a drop-down menu of fees.
- The next two columns are the same as the two last columns mentioned above.
At the bottom of this section the ‘Total Fees (excluding VAT)’ is listed.
There is also a section entitled ‘Duty on Documents’ where the Duty on Documents – Ordinary Residence is listed, and a mini Duty on Documents calculator is also provided when clicking on the third column, which allows the public to calculate how much duty is owed. The ‘Less provisional tax paid’ is also included in this section.
The final section is ‘Balances due’ which includes:
- VAT on Fees (18%)
- Total fees and total disbursements
- Duty on Documents tax balance
And finally, at the very bottom of the calculator is the ‘Final Balance’ where the public can view the final amount due. Since notarial services are quite personalised and may vary according to what services are required, this calculator is essential in order to organise the many fees and expenses owed, as well as avoiding any surprises when it comes to settling the final balance.
Know the costs before your next notary’s appointment
Notarial fees and expenses usually follow a standard rate as set by law, however, personalised services and unforeseen complications may result in additional expenses, which are up to the notary to decide on depending on several factors.
The public can thus make use of the online billing calculator in order to make this whole process that much easier, by providing a detailed calculation of the total fees owed.