State Budget 2020 – Incentives for leaving local lodging               

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The Government is studying incentives for migrating short-term local lodging to affordable long-term leases. It is not yet known how the Government plans to accomplish this objective. It may become possible to change the fiscal regime that requires the payment of capital gains when the property is no longer assigned to a professional activity and returns to the sphere of the owner.

Golden Visa investments fall again

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In November of 2019, total investments from Residence Permits for Investment Activities (ARI) tallied €37 million, a decrease of 52% over the same month of 2018 (€77.1 million). Comparing to October, when new investments totalled €60 million, the decline was 38%. In November, 64 Golden Visas were issued, of which 61 were for property purchases and three for capital transfer. In the first 11 months of 2019, investments have totalled €698 million, down 6% from the same period a year earlier. By nationality, China continued to lead in the number of Golden Visas issued, followed by Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and Russia.

Portuguese nationality: more naturalisations than births

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In 2018, births in Portugal stood at 87,000 while citizenship concessions rose to nearly 128,000. To date, 2019 statistics continue to reflect the same proportion: net growth in Portuguese citizenship continues to be due largely to the naturalisation of foreign residents.

Tax exemptions for non-habitual residents amount to €548 million in 2018

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The value of tax benefits to non-habitual residents keeps growing according to the “Tribunal de Contas” (National Audit Office). In 2018, there were €548 million in NHR exemptions granted to foreign pensioners. Nevertheless, this apparent tax giveaway would have never existed if the NHR regime had not attracted these foreigners to Portugal in the first place. For example, these pensioners paid almost €80 million to the state in Individual Income Tax (“IRS “) on non-exempt income. In addition, there are IMT, IMI and VAT levies which the Government collects above and beyond the scope of the Non-Habitual Residency scheme.

Duties of a Fiscal Representative

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There are two types of Fiscal Representation in Portugal:

  •       – Fiscal Representation in Personal Income Tax (“IRS”)
  •       – Fiscal Representation in VAT

Appointing a Fiscal Representative

It is mandatory to appoint a Fiscal Representative whenever a third-country national who is not resident in Portugal has income arising in Portugal. Alternatively, although residing in the national territory, an individual is absent for a period exceeding six months and obtains income in Portugal subject to Portuguese taxation. For a non-resident to start the process of appointing a tax representative in Portugal, the taxpayers must have a Fiscal Number (“NIF”) and a password (“senha”) to be identified on the Finanças Portal. Continue reading

Usucapio – Adverse Possession or “Squatter’s rights”

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Usucapio (adverse possession), from the Latin usucapio: “to acquire by use”, is a form of acquisition of the property rights in function of having used or occupied a property continuously and unquestionably as if the holder were the real owner. In English Common Law, the equivalent of usucapio is commonly referred to as “adverse possession”. Continue reading

Brexit to cut 100,000 British Holidaymakers to Portugal

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In all, Brexit is set to cancel eight million tourists travelling in 2021. In Spain alone, there should be 1.3 million fewer UK nationals travelling according to projections of the European Travel Commission. Without a Brexit agreement, British travel should fall by 7% by 2020 and 8% the following year.

Golden Visas: Portugal has Europe’s second most attractive regime

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Only Greece and Latvia have more advantageous Golden Visa schemes than Portugal, requiring an investment of just €250,000 for foreigners wishing to settle in their territories. Portugal has maintained the €500,000 threshold since the creation of the programme in 2012, which is technically referred to as “The Residence Permit for Investment Activity”.

Portugal continues to block assessment of multinationals in the EU

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The directive on sharing tax information of multinational corporations has been stalled for the last two years in the European Council. Portugal forms part of a group of member states holding up passage of this EU ruling. The stance contradicts what the government defends in its political programme. The position also contradicts the voting record of Portuguese socialist representatives.

Local Lodging falls sharply nationwide

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Local Lodging is on the decline across the country with new registrations dropping by 43% when compared to the same period last year. According to data from the Local Lodging National Register, the sharpest drop occurred in Lisbon, which fell by 73%. Porto also saw the opening of new AL establishments down by almost 50%. ALEP, the Local Lodging Association of Portugal, attributes this accentuated contraction with the overall shift from a “niche activity” to a “mature enterprise”. Local Lodging represents 40% of the total overnight tourist stays in Portugal.