The annual income limit for self-employed workers who are VAT exempt increases from €10,000 to €12,500. The uplift was approved by the General Assembly as part of the belatedly approved 2020 State Budget.
Turismo de Portugal continues with online training actions for the Clean & Safe” Seal. This initiative is aimed at Tourist Enterprises, Local Lodging Accommodations, as well as Tourism and Travel Agencies that want to know the control measures for cleaning, hygiene and basic COVID-19 prevention.
Registration is certified and free of charge. The training sessions last a total of 2, 3, or 4 hours depending on the type of activity. With a limit of 500 participants per session, there are several times available during the coming weeks. The training will provide participants with an overview of the internal protocol related to their organization during the COVID-19 outbreak .
The 2020 State Budget update allows independent workers on green receipts who fail to make their first two payments on account of the year in July and September due to breaks in their business activity. If they reactivate their regular business invoicing by the end of the year, they may settle in December the total amount owed without fines or charges.
The Portuguese government is creating a specific programme of €4.5m to encourage “AL” holiday lets to be transformed to affordable rents for young people. The purpose of the programme is open more affordable housing for urban youth that is accessible and with better conditions. The government also proposes to make available non repayable grants to subsidise the income of the most needy families who cannot cope with these rental expenses.
After months of delay, Lisbon Council is to sublet 1000 flats currently available only under Local Lodging (“AL”). With a budget of €15 million to be spent over five years, the City expects to sublet one thousand apartments currently let short-term as Local Lodging to be made available at affordable prices to Lisbon residents. Given the historic drop in “AL” bookings in the new Coronavirus era, the programme would appear to have an uphill battle to achieve its goals.
The attribution of the “Clean & Safe Seal”, already available for Local Lodging accommodations (“AL”), will be extended to restaurants and cafés. Completely free, voluntary and automatically issued on the spot, the “Clean & Safe Seal” visually reflects the operators’ commitment to the guidelines from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).
4 out of 5 Local Lodging establishments in Portugal saw reservations cancelled in the 6 months between March and August. Due to quarantines and more restrictive measures in force to mobility, Madeira and the Azores suffered the highest number of cancellations.
The hotels in the Algarve recorded a global average occupancy rate per room of 1% in April. According to the largest hotel association in the region, the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), the impact of the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus began to affect tourism in March.
The national minimum wage in Portugal rises from €600 to €635 in 2020, a measure that should benefit 720,000 workers. The modification translates into a net salary increase of €31.13 per month (in 14 payments per annum). This basic salary is tax-exempt from Individual Income Tax (IRS). Workers pay only 11% in Social Security contributions. In the EU, the monthly national minimum wage ranges from a high of €2,090 in Luxembourg to a low of €312 in Bulgaria.
In 2019, tourist establishments registered 27 million guests and 69.9 million overnight stays, corresponding to annual increases of 7.3% and 4.1% respectively, according to preliminary data from the National Statistics Institute. Of these registered guests, 10.7 million correspond to residents in Portugal and 16.3 million to visitors living abroad.