A special committee of the European Parliament urges the creation of a European Police Force and a European Regulator dedicated to money laundering. The proposals of the Special Committee on Financial Crimes and Tax Evasion (TAX3) form part of a report with various recommendations, including the abolition of “Golden Visas”.
The EU Commission announced that American travellers will need a new type of “travel authorisation” – a European Travel Information and Authorization System or ETIAS – to visit the European Schengen Area beginning in 2021. Currently, US citizens can travel in Europe for up to 90 days with a valid passport without any visa requirements.
The new travel document will be valid for three years allowing for multiple entries into the Schengen Area. With ETIAS, travellers will need a passport, complete an online application and pay a fee of US$7. In most cases, approval should take only a few minutes.
News reports first called the process a “visa”, but authorities have been quick to clarify the semantics. Officials state that ETIAS is simply a “travel authorisation” for visa-free visitors, similar to the US system (Electronic System for Travel Authorization – ESTA) to screen people in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
The guidelines of the Doctrine Declaration (“Ficha Doutrinária”) dated 04 December 2017 clarify tax liabilities based on nº 5 of article 81º of the IRS Code. Assessment of income from foreign sources classified under categories E (capital), F (long-term rent) and G (capital gains) earned by taxable persons considered to be Non-Habitual Residents follows the exemption method where the source country has the power to tax this income under the applicable Double Taxation Agreement. This rule infers that the tax exclusion does not hold for jurisdictions without such an agreement in place. Tax-exempt income must still be reported annually in Portugal to determine the final tax rate to be applied to total aggregate income subject to assessment.
Since inception, more than 19,000 new “golden” residents have been approved for Golden Visas in Portugal. Only 387 (2 out of every 100 applications) were turned down despite warnings from the UN and the European Commission. Allegations abound that these Portuguese entry visas facilitate money laundering and tax evasion as well as jeopardize the security of the EU. The European Parliament will vote on a proposal to abolish such schemes throughout the member states.
While the European Commission (EC) defends the end of “Golden Visas”, Portugal contends that the programme will go on. In recent years, the scheme has served as a gateway for millions of euros into the national real estate market in exchange for permanent residency visas for high net worth foreign investors. In light of the controversy, the government has announced plans to alter legislation to improve transparency as called for by the European Parliament.
European Union member states unanimously rejected a proposal to include Saudi Arabia and four US territories among countries blacklisted for lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering. As reported by Reuters, member states criticised the European Commission’s methodology, claiming that the listing used criteria different from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), considered to be the global standard for anti-money laundering.
The Algarve and the Lisbon Metropolitan Area were among the regions with the most significant increase in employment in the EU in 2017. Eurostat recently released data confirming that 253 EU regions, representing 90% of the total, registered a rise. In 26 other districts, employment decreased and in two others, remained unchanged.
Dennis has written new shorts, they are to be found at
E-Book 33- e33 – US Nationals in Portugal (under “US Nationals in Portugal” at the bottom of the list)
s152 – EU releases updated Blacklist
s153 – NHR – value-added professions under the scheme
s154 – Portuguese Wills
s155 Document checklist for US Nationals
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