In 2018, births in Portugal stood at 87,000 while citizenship concessions rose to nearly 128,000. To date, 2019 statistics continue to reflect the same proportion: net growth in Portuguese citizenship continues to be due largely to the naturalisation of foreign residents.
The value of tax benefits to non-habitual residents keeps growing according to the “Tribunal de Contas” (National Audit Office). In 2018, there were €548 million in NHR exemptions granted to foreign pensioners. Nevertheless, this apparent tax giveaway would have never existed if the NHR regime had not attracted these foreigners to Portugal in the first place. For example, these pensioners paid almost €80 million to the state in Individual Income Tax (“IRS “) on non-exempt income. In addition, there are IMT, IMI and VAT levies which the Government collects above and beyond the scope of the Non-Habitual Residency scheme.
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%.
In June of 2018, 68,310 Local Lodging registrations exist as compared to 23,136 in 2015, an increase of almost 300% in three years. Over the same period, tax revenues have more than doubled. 73% of “AL” accommodations are outside Lisbon and Porto, with over a third in the Algarve.
Among a group of eight Simplex+2018 measures, the Government proposes to introduce changes in the way proper receipts are issued. The authorities have committed to regulating the elimination of printed statements, given that detailed digitalised records of transactions are already available in a taxpayer’s personal area on the “AT” portal.
Following the previous introduction of the “Automatic IRS” which prefills personal income tax submissions for millions of Portuguese taxpayers, other 2018 IRS declarations must only be declared electronically via the Internet. Paper forms are no longer available. Those who lack a computer or the necessary skills can get help at one of the Citizen Shops or via their local “AT” agency.
The Council of Ministers approved “Automatic IRS” for households with dependents, thus extending the measure to three million households next year. In 2017, “Automatic IRS filing” covered taxpayers with no dependents, having salaries or pensions. In 2018, “Automatic IRS filing” will include families with dependents, as well as taxpayers who receive tax credits related to donations.
In 2018, education vouchers become fully subject to “IRS” assessment. Previously, these vouchers, allocated to dependents for the payment of schools and other education services and expenses, were eligible for a maximum tax credit of up to €1,100 per dependent.