Closing your Local Lodging business

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There may be a variety reasons for you to discontinue an “AL” business: a) you need your place for yourself; b) the property may be up for sale; c) the bureaucracy may be too cumbersome for you; d) competition may have driven down prices and the activity is no longer profitable, e) other. Whatever the motive that you no longer wish to continue to let short-term furnished accommodations to holidaymakers, there are several steps that you will need to take to make the change: Continue reading

EU removes three countries from its tax haven blacklist

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Bermuda, Aruba, and Barbados have been on the EU’s embargoed list since March because of loopholes associated with money laundering schemes. Under the EU’s fair tax criteria, companies must have “economic substance”, not be just a “letterbox” entity set up to take advantage of low tax practices. The current EU blacklist has 12 countries. De-listed jurisdictions are placed on a halfway ‘grey list’ under close scrutiny but are no longer be subject to sanctions.

French “Great Debate” website attacks Portuguese “NHR”

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Opinions and proposals, shared on the “Great Debate” website (https://granddebat.fr/) – an initiative by French President Emmanuel Macron to respond to the protests of the “yellow vests” – refer to migrating French nationals who enjoy Portuguese Non-Habitual Residency (“NHR”) as “tax exiles” and to Portugal as “a fiscal eldorado” within Europe. Some participants contend that this double relief (tax exemption for pensions both at source in France and for 10 years in Portugal with “NHR” status) is intrinsically unjust, depriving both states of much-needed tax revenues and increasing the burden on paying taxpayers. The scheme is seen as promoting unfair tax competition among the Member States of the European Union.

“IMI” updates in 2020 but with little change for most owners

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Location coefficients will be updated this year. ASAVAL (Association of Professional Appraisers), the Association that represents real estate evaluators, recognises that the market has gained stability, but reminds the public that the coefficients have to continue to reflect the dynamics of the market. The last revision of the Location Coefficient occurred in 2015 and had an impact on tax assessments for 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Minimum long-term rental contract to be one year    

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New legislation stipulates that the minimum period for long-term rental agreements is one year and renewable for three years. According to the decree, “SIMA” (“Serviço de Injunção em Matéria de Arrendamento” – Lease Injunction Service)  will be created to strengthen tenants’ rights, namely for the reimbursement of improvements incurred by tenants.

Portugal with €130 billion in EU subsidies since 1986

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Since joining the European Union, Portugal has benefited from extensive economic support. According to the Bank of Portugal, Portugal has received a total of €130 billion since 1986 or ±2.5% of GDP per year. Portugal ranks amongst the highest among countries with EU subsidy allocations. Nevertheless, the movement of money is reciprocal. Portugal also sends funds to Europe: customs duties, agricultural charges, VAT and others. Between 1996-2018, annual transfers have been relatively constant at ±1% of GDP.

“AL” and potential Capital Gains Tax

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The withdrawal of a property from a Local Lodging tourist activity was already potentially subject to capital gains assessment under previous legislation. However, the way the law was drafted left room for doubt as to the exact point that the tax would be due. In the 2018 State Budget, this doubt was clarified, making it unambiguous that there is deferred payment of capital gains tax when the property is further assigned on an ongoing basis to income from category F (long-term rental). Without this abeyance, a Capital Gain may be attained in the year of cessation of the business assignment. Regardless, reporting is done in your annual “IRS” return.

Gaia to cap “AL” offerings

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The Vila Nova de Gaia Municipal Council has passed regulations to limit Local Lodging establishments and prevent the dislocation of long-term residents from historic neighbourhoods. The city centre and the entrance to the bridge D. Luís I are two of the target areas for the new restrictions. These measures follow on the heels of similar actions taken in Lisbon and other municipalities around the country.

Local Lodging registrations down in Oporto

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The number of new Local Accommodation (“AL”)  registrations in the municipality of Oporto fell by 40% in the first quarter of 2019 as compared to the same period last year. The City does not manifest the need to implement “AL” containment measures as has happened in Lisbon, considering that tourism in Porto continues to grow and is in good health.