The government has reviewed the criteria for properties being considered “vacant”, which may imply an increase in IMI (Municipal Property Tax) by three to six-fold. The increase will occur when an abode is located in a “pressure zone” and has remained empty for more than two years. Lack of consumption of utilities such as water and electricity will be the prime indicators. Exempt from the concept of “vacant” are dwellings integrated in tourist developments or registered as Local Lodging as well as second homes not located in the same municipality where the owner is resident.
There are new deadlines for the payment of the Municipal Property Tax (“IMI”). Instead of running between April and October as before, tax settlement will take place between May and November in 2019. “IMI” is paid in one go or in several instalments, depending on whether taxation is less or greater than €100. May is the month for single assessments when the tax due is under €100; or for the first instalment, in cases where the amount owed is greater. Second payments are in August when “IMI” exceeds €500. Finally, November is for final payments when taxation falls between €100 – €500 or third instalments if the levy is greater than €500.
More than 90% of the taxpayers requesting a reassessment of their property based on an outdated “VPT” (Tax Asset Value) achieved a reduction in the “IMI” due (Municipal Property Tax). Properties were overvalued by more than €447 million. Updating the VPT (on which the tax rate applies) does not happen automatically. Legislation permits owners to call for a reappraisal three years after the previous one. This request – which is free of charge – can be made directly at the local tax office or via the Finanças Portal.
In 2019, the value per square metre for real estate rose from €603 to €615 per m², an amount that had not changed since 2010. This criterion is key in determining a property’s Rateable Value (“VPT”) and consequently the value of “IMI”. The amount due is fixed by factors such as location, condition, quality, size and age of the property. These coefficients are updated every three years at which time a revaluation of the property can be requested. The final “IMI” due is determined by the tax rate established by each Municipality between 0.3% to 0.45% for urban buildings and 0.8% for rustic land.
Established in 2017, “AIMI” is a supplementary property tax assessed on higher valued properties, based on the sum of all taxable “urban” real estate (“VPT”). This incremental levy is sometimes euphemistically referred to as a Portuguese Wealth Tax. Urban properties classified as “commercial, industrial or service” and “other” are exempt.
In 2019, AIMI rates are as follows:
Companies (non-residential use by owners/directors; otherwise same as Individuals):
0.4% for total of rateable urban “VPT”s;
Individuals (for couples, double exempt value):
0.7% When the total “VPT” value of all properties is between €600,000 and €1,000,000;
1% For “VPT” real estate totals between €1,000,000 and €2,000,000;
1.5% For “VPT” total exceeding two million euros (new in 2019).
Assessment of the Additional to IMI is calculated in June referring to real estate holdings on 01 January of each year. Payment is due in September.
The transition of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man off of the EU “grey” list follows legislative changes that strengthen tax transparency in these Crown Dependencies. The actions include the implementation of disclosure rules of investors’ tax residency related to the enforcement of the Common Reporting Standard as well as the sharing of beneficial ownership information with national registries.
As with other policy areas, one of the fundamental purposes of the EU Blacklist is to harmonise and replace sometimes contradictory member state practices. Although it has as yet to be defined when the EU-wide transposition to national legislation will be put into place, recent experience points to a quicker response than in the past.
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.