One of the flagship measures of the upcoming 2019 State Budget is intended to encourage emigrants to return to Portugal by granting a 50% discount on their “IRS” over the following 3 to 5 years. In addition, the proposal allows for deductions of associated expenses, such as the cost of the return trip and housing expenses. As part of a package of incentives targeting the relocation of young professionals back to Portugal, the proposal will embrace all those who left the country by 2015 and returning in 2019 or 2020.
Suffering under the aftermath of the “Panama Papers” scandal, the Central American nation is trying to recover greater transparency on the international stage. Although Lisbon would like to shorten its tax haven blacklist, Panama’s departure is far from certain. Pressure from the Panamanian Government extends on several fronts, from the promise of greater information sharing on the one hand to diplomatic retaliation on the other against those who continue to consider it as “non-cooperative”. For the time being, Portugal is adopting a “wait-and-see” strategy.
Some home buyers are eligible for a three-year exemption on the municipal tax on real estate (“IMI”), provided that the dwelling corresponds to their permanent residence. When the property is bought by more than one person (a couple, for example), the dispensation is only maintained when there is no change in the fiscal address over the period. Otherwise, the Tax Authority (“AT”) will consider that the necessary conditions to benefit from the tax break are no longer being met and the waiver will be revoked.
It took just 5 days for the Socialist Party to reverse its position on limiting to seven the number of Local Lodging properties held per owner. The newly introduced measure only places restrictions within “AL” tourist-contained neighbourhoods as to be defined by local councils and will not impact other municipal districts.
According to the National Statistics Institute (INE)*, Portugal received 3.4 million Local Lodging guests in 2017 (+29%), and 8 million overnight stays (+26.7%), generating €263 million in total revenues (+27.6%). The number of overnight stays increased in all regions, most significantly in the Center (+42.3%), Greater Lisbon (+31.4%), Madeira (+22.5%) and the North (+25.2%). The average Local Lodging stay was 2.35 nights (-1.6%), with longer stays in Madeira (4.80 nights), Algarve (3.23 nights) and Lisbon (2.37 nights). Germany was the tourist largest market (+27.4%), followed by the French, British and Spanish (+22.3%, +20.9% and +31.5%, respectively). There were also significant increases from Poland (+79.8%), the United States (+64.8%) and Brazil (+54.6%).
* INE only counts “AL” offerings with more than 10 beds. Following this criteria, there were only 2,663 “AL” establishments in Portugal in 2017. According to the Ministry of Tourism, “AL” registrations currently total over 85,000. While the INE numbers may be inaccurate, these statistics can still prove useful on a relative basis.
France is the EU country with the highest number of tourist beds available. According to 2016 data collected by the European Statistical Office, the French tourist industry registered 5.1 million beds or 16.4% of the EU total. Italy ranked a close second with 4.9 million beds (15.8%). Spain placed third with 3.5 million beds or 11.2%. Over the same period, Portugal recorded approximately 567,800 tourist accommodations, an increase of 16,100 beds (+3%) when compared to the previous year.
Thus far this summer, ASAE has carried out 610 raids on Tourist Enterprises and Local Lodging establishments throughout Portugal. The operation led to the suspension of three “AL” operations for non-compliance with hygiene requirements. The investigating teams instituted 111 administrative actions and a criminal proceeding, primarily for infractions regarding non-registration of a tourist activity.
A new study by HomeAway reveals why Portuguese nationals prefer using Local Lodging for their vacations. For 79.5% of the respondents, choosing an “AL” accommodation is based on the possibility to prepare meals, thus making significant savings in the overall holiday budget. 70.2% of respondents prefer the scheduling flexibility and the ability to plan their vacation days without rigid time restrictions. In turn, 65% indicate that they can enjoy more space for leisure activities. 51.5% of holidaymakers appreciate the privacy and tranquillity (as compared to 37.2% in hotels).
The case: After her father’s death, the daughter appealed to the court, asking that her stepmother be required to return to her inheritance the sums she had taken from her father’s account along with the savings certificates she had redeemed, still in his lifetime.
The Ruling: The Supreme Court of Justice ruled that a gift between spouses that is not supported by a written document is to be considered null and void and must be repaid with interest.
Tax and Customs Authority (AT) will gain access to data regarding cash withdrawals exceeding €50,000. The measure is part of a Strategic Plan to combat fraud and tax evasion that sets priorities until 2020. The document identifies three strategic lines of intervention that will be implemented through 95 measures in legislative, criminal and operational actions.