Through the Highly Qualified Persons (Amendment) Rules, 2017, which were introduced via Legal Notice 7 of 2017, the wording of sub-rule 5 of rule 6 of the Highly Qualified Persons Rules (SL 123.126) was amended so that any highly qualified person that may benefit from a reduced income tax rate of 15%, irrespective of whether that person has availed himself of this benefit or not (this previously held that the person must have availed himself of such benefit), shall be eligible for a one time extension of 5 years to his qualifying period. The above sub-rule was further changed so that whereas prior to the rules the maximum qualifying period could not exceed 10 years of assessment, this maximum period is now more elaborately defined as “a consecutive period of ten years commencing from the year preceding the first year of assessment in which that person is first liable to tax” under the ITA.

Lastly, the Qualifying Employment in Aviation (Personal Tax) (Amendment) Rules, 2017,which were introduced via Legal Notice 1 of 2017, added a new provision to rule 6 of the Qualifying Employment in Aviation (Personal Tax) Rules (SL 123.168) whereby any individual claiming the reduced income tax rate of 15% (as referred to above) is now eligible to apply for an extension of 4 to 5 years (depending on whether the person is an EEA/Swiss national or a third country national) to the qualifying period, provided that the individual’s period of eligibility does not exceed 10 years.