Despite an increase of three tenths, Portuguese taxation remained below the European average last year. In Portugal, the weight of taxes reached 40.2% of GDP and in the Euro Zone, 41.4%. France had the heaviest load (48.4%) and Ireland the lightest (23.5%).
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.
Local Lodging accommodated one third of visitors to Portugal in 2017, an annualised increase of almost 29%, according to ALEP (Association of Local Lodging in Portugal). As of July 2018, there are currently more than 72,000 Local Lodging establishments registered nationwide.
Airbnb, the internet Local Lodging reservation platform, collected and delivered €2,600,000 in Municipal Tourist Tax during the first six months of the year, reaching a grand total of €8,100,000 raised on behalf of the Lisbon Council since the tax began in January of 2016. In 2017, the aggregate holiday let levy revenues came to €18,500,00 taken in by the country’s capital city.
Lisbon was the fifth most popular destination for European holidaymakers in 2017, registering a 17% jump when compared to the year before. Porto came in ninth place, 12% above 2016. Registering a 24% increase, London was the first choice for European tourists, followed by Barcelona, Mallorca and Paris.
With all political parties submitting their own proposals, the parliamentary calendar will only consider changes to the law governing of local lodging next year. The ruling Socialist Party wants to make permission dependent on the approval of neighbors in condominiums.
Coercive assessments should allow the treasury to collect 1,100 million euros throughout fiscal year 2017. To reach this goal, the “AT” (Tax and Customs Authority) is reinforcing automatisms and computer applications in order to be able to monitor more effectively the progress of processing tax debts. This represents a decrease from previous years since overdue taxes have also diminished.
“IMI”, the local assessment on real estate, is a municipal tax levied on the rateable value (“VPT”) of a property situated within each municipality. Immovable properties are classified as rural, urban or mixed. “IMI” is assessed one year in arrears. The taxable person is the owner, the beneficiary or the party having the use or the benefit of the property on 31 December of the tax year.
Starting in 2017, the Portuguese Tax Authority (“AT) is making available Automatic IRS Reporting to over one million taxpayers in Portugal. The change is part of “Simplex”, a programme designed to reduce bureaucracy at all levels of government.
Cascais began charging a Tourist Tax of €1.00 per night as of 01 February 2017. The City Council estimates a minimum first year income of €1.2 million. Initially the proposed charge was to be €1.50, but the final levy was set at €1.00 per night, up to a maximum of five nights.