First, read the IRS News Release:
WASHINGTON — The competent authorities of the United States and Malta signed a competent authority arrangement (CAA) confirming their understanding of the meaning of pension fund for purposes of the United States–Malta income tax treaty (Treaty). The competent authorities have entered into this agreement after becoming aware that U.S. taxpayers with no connection to Malta were misconstruing the pension provisions of the Treaty to avoid income tax on the earnings of, and distributions from, personal retirement schemes established in Malta.
The CAA PDF confirms the U.S. and Malta competent authorities' understanding that (except in the case of a qualified rollover from a pension fund in the same country) a fund, scheme or arrangement is not operated principally to provide pension or retirement benefits if it allows participants to contribute property other than cash, or does not limit contributions by reference to income earned from employment and self-employment activities. Because Maltese personal retirement schemes contain these features, they are not properly treated as a pension fund for Treaty purposes and distributions from these schemes are not pensions or other similar remuneration.
Now, review the complete text of the agreement:
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