Portugal received 128,000 fewer foreign visitors this summer than in the same period last year, a drop largely due to fewer holidaymakers from the United Kingdom. Between June and September, 5.5 million travellers came to Portugal, down 2.2% when compared to the same period in 2017. However, revenues rose to 1.7 billion euros during the period, up 4.4%.
The ink is barely dry on changes to the Local Lodging regime and the ruling Socialist Party is moving forward with proposed amendments in the next year’s State Budget. According to the contemplated update, Local Lodging units should have a minimum coverage of €75,000 a year per claim. The recently approved legislation is vague concerning the amount of liability insurance required.
If you meet any of the criteria to be considered resident for tax purposes in Portugal, you arew required to register with the tax authorities and submit annual tax declarations. Tax residents are liable to Portuguese taxation on worldwide income. When a taxpayer fails to report income that is the object of information sharing from any number of diverse sources, Finanças moves to coercive settlement of the assessment due. Continue reading
The Tax Authority can now claw back “IMT” tax breaks when owners engage in Local Lodging or letting rooms to students. If you bought your home as your “personal and principal residence”, you paid a lower property transfer tax (“IMT”) at the time of purchase. According to a recent “AT” ruling, if within the following 6 years you practice holiday or student letting, Finanças can rescind the tax break and retroactively reclaim any additional tax due.
The rules governing Social Security contributions for self-employed workers are changing in January. Graduated income tax brackets will no longer be the reference point. Payments will be based on 70% of declared earnings in the previous three months, rather than on the total of sole trader income from the previous year. The rate of contributions also drops from 29.6% to 21.4%. Freelancers will have to submit a quarterly statement to determine the relevant income, which will be the basis for Social Security assessment in the following trimester.
Earned income can be adjusted by up to 25% (up or down) so that workers can elect to pay a higher or lower amount that will eventually be reflected in benefits. The new rules also establish a minimum monthly Social Security payment of €20, including periods with no recorded income, as a way to ensure on-going social protection coverage, rather than the start-and-stop method that was used in the past.
Freelancers will keep their current level of Social Security deductions until the end of 2018. In the past, October has served as the basis for updating sole traders’ contributions for the following 12 months. With the new SS regime that begins in January 2019, deduction brackets have been eliminated.
Despite positive evolution in recent years, Lisbon still has many buildings that are either abandoned, poorly maintained or even in ruins. According to data from the Lisbon Chamber of Commerce in 2018, there are 2,626 buildings in the city declared totally or partially vacant and 7,230 in poor condition, concentrated in the city’s historic neighbourhoods. Experts speak of the need for €4 billion in urgent rehabilitation works in the capital and over €24 billion nationwide.
DECO warns that the new rules for Local Lodging require owners to have an insurance that is not currently available in Portugal. According to the Portuguese Consumer Protection Association, “there is no multi-risk liability insurance, which shows a serious ignorance on the part of lawmakers.” “In addition, the law is not clear about any damages to be covered.”