A recent case of a notary stealing taxes his client was due to pay to cover his own gambling debt has made news around the island. While the victim is unlikely to recover the money lost through a laborious court hearing (and a defendant unlikely to have the means to pay up), she’s also faced with two choices; lose the property or pay her stamp duty a second time, as well as the capital transfer taxes the vendor had paid.
The next question that needs answering is, of course, how can we prevent this from happening again?
Blockchain to the rescue?
The option being actively pursued right now is to change the current legislation. The amendment will protect victims of notaries who default, while there’s also an upcoming educational campaign about the above. All of this is being conducted by the Commissioner for Revenue, the Notarial Council, State Advocate, Chief Notary and Justice Ministry.
Via LinkedIn, a local economist suggested that digitalising processes and registries will reduce these risks. Better than that, it also speeds up the entire setup while also making it transparent.
If we can pair this solution with much-needed updated legislation, could future scenarios like the one above be completely avoided? It’s also an opportunity for Malta to make good on its promise of becoming a Blockchain Island.
Is it time for Malta to truly embrace tech as solutions to such problems?