The procedures of customs clearance and payment of the Tax on Vehicles have been simplified, now to be done electronically online in most cases. (New rules take effect on 01 July). The new procedures come under the “SIMPLEX + 2016″ programme which includes a significant simplification of the Automobile Taxation System. The objective is to simplify and reduce costs for taxpayers by reducing customs services bureaucracy via electronic compliance. Continue reading
The Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) programme has been successful in attracting freelancers to Portugal from around the world. While this plan offers pensioners a 10-year tax-free holiday and wealthy executives, a modest 20% flat assessment on six-figure salaries, this solution can leave much to be desired for the self-employed. In fact, a better option already exists for “gig economy” freelancers in the Simplified Regime, the standard means of assessment used by 99% of entrepreneurs in Portugal. Continue reading
Guests in tourist accommodations increased to the highest level in 10 years during the first quarter of 2017. Madeira’s hotels recorded the strongest occupancy rate (75%), followed by Lisbon (67%) and Porto (63%). Nationwide, foreign visitors are up 10% over a 12 month period. By nationality, the largest rise came from Brazilians (68%), Polish (40%) and Americans (34%). Urban tourism is one of the major trends in demand. The country’s security is perceived as one of the main criteria, followed by climate, culture and cuisine.
The consumer group, “Deco”, and the “PSP” warn of potential dangers with vacation rentals, especially when using the internet. Every year Deco receives dozens of complaints related to scams associated with holiday home lets. While the internet can be the dominant means of publicizing and reserving holidays, it is essential to use care, especially when making online payments.
According to the Hotel Association of Portugal, in November of last year, 25 operators had multiple “AL” registrations: between 51 and 300. Of these, seven were running more than a hundred properties as “Local Lodging establishments,” up to a maximum of three hundred. While the majority of owners let just one or two properties, current “AL” legislation fails to distinguish between those operating on a peer-to-peer basis and those running full-blown “horizontal” hotels.
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa signed into law legislation extending for another eight years the freezing of rents for low-income citizens with leases prior to 1990. Parliamentary approval came with the votes of the ruling leftist coalition against the opposition right-wing parties.
Between October 2012 and May 2017, the total investments raised by the Investment Activity Residency programme reached € 3.1 billion. Of this amount, €2.8 billion (90%) was secured through real estate purchases. During the period, China leads the list of Golden Visas awarded with 3,411 as of May this year, followed by Brazil (411), South Africa (189), Russia (174) and Lebanon (100).
Potential Capital Gains Tax liabilities have caught by surprise many owners engaged in Local Lodging when using privately owned property in a sole trader business activity. As scary as it may sound in theory, the practice is generally far more benign in most cases as we can see in the following illustration. Continue reading
The Government plans to create a priority process within “SEF” (Immigration and Borders Service) to accelerate the granting of Golden Visas. Currently, many of these potential investments are going to Spain due to excessive delay in Portugal, where applications take as much as ten months for approval. So far this year, investments have already fallen by around 60%. In 2016, Spain attracted €1.1 billion as compared to €873 million in Portugal.
Living in Lisbon is increasingly expensive. The tourist boom in recent years has triggered rental price hikes in the country’s capital. The latest study reveals that apartment leases rose 23% in 2016, to an average of €830 per month. In the Chiado district, purchase costs average €6,700 per square metre.