In 2020, Portugal ranks first among the most peaceful countries in the European Union as reported by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The worldwide classification is led by Iceland, which holds the top spot since 2008, followed by New Zealand. The Ministry of the Interior expressed its satisfaction with the maintenance of Portugal’s third place. In 2014, the country ranked 18th. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the regions of the Middle East and North Africa, home to three of the five least secure nations (Iraq, Syria and Yemen). Afghanistan continues to be the most dangerous.
There are two types of Fiscal Representation in Portugal:
- – Fiscal Representation in Personal Income Tax (“IRS”)
- – Fiscal Representation in VAT
Appointing a Fiscal Representative
It is mandatory to appoint a Fiscal Representative whenever a third-country national who is not resident in Portugal has income arising in Portugal. Alternatively, although residing in the national territory, an individual is absent for a period exceeding six months and obtains income in Portugal subject to Portuguese taxation. For a non-resident to start the process of appointing a tax representative in Portugal, the taxpayers must have a Fiscal Number (“NIF”) and a password (“senha”) to be identified on the Finanças Portal. Continue reading
The directive on sharing tax information of multinational corporations has been stalled for the last two years in the European Council. Portugal forms part of a group of member states holding up passage of this EU ruling. The stance contradicts what the government defends in its political programme. The position also contradicts the voting record of Portuguese socialist representatives.
What is Forced Heirship?
In many Common Law jurisdictions, testators enjoy full freedom to leave their assets to whomever they wish. However, in other countries, this is not the case. Succession laws define given rights for the heirs. Despite the provisions made in a testament, a will can easily be overturned by these protected heirs. This is called Forced Heirship. Continue reading
Settling cross-border tax conflicts within the European Union will follow new guidelines that entered into legislation as of 01 July as announced by the EU Commission. According to a recent directive, taxpayers confronted with double tax disagreements within the EU that arise from differing interpretations of bilateral tax treaties can initiate a joint agreement procedure, leading countries to either settle the issues or accept a arbitration made by an independent advisory committee. The criteria applies to income or capital earned on or after 01 January 2018.
Despite an inauspicious start in 2009, the “NHR” programme has gained relevance, attracting thousands EU “tax refugees” to Portugal. Since 2014, new applicants have increased by 1400%. Between September of 2018 and March of this year, the number of new non-habitual residents rose by over 26%. Brazilians recorded the most significant jump with a gain of 52%, surpassing the Swedes. Citizens who qualify for “NHR” status pay “IRS” at a flat rate of 20% when they are linked to high added-value activities in Portugal. However, this group of targeted professionals accounted for just 7% of total applicants. Most are pensioners, seeking a 10-year tax holiday on their retirement benefits. In 2017, new “NHR” retirees numbered almost 10,000.
The EU has broadened its blacklist of tax havens, adding 10 new jurisdictions; Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu and Dominica. They join Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, and three U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands which were already listed. The European Commission created its blacklist in December 2017 after revelations of widespread tax evasion schemes (“Panama Papers”) used by corporations and high net worth individuals to reduce their tax liabilities. Listed jurisdictions face enhanced financial scrutiny but as yet no sanctions.
Bermuda, Aruba, and Barbados have been on the EU’s embargoed list since March because of loopholes associated with money laundering schemes. Under the EU’s fair tax criteria, companies must have “economic substance”, not be just a “letterbox” entity set up to take advantage of low tax practices. The current EU blacklist has 12 countries. De-listed jurisdictions are placed on a halfway ‘grey list’ under close scrutiny but are no longer be subject to sanctions.
Since joining the European Union, Portugal has benefited from extensive economic support. According to the Bank of Portugal, Portugal has received a total of €130 billion since 1986 or ±2.5% of GDP per year. Portugal ranks amongst the highest among countries with EU subsidy allocations. Nevertheless, the movement of money is reciprocal. Portugal also sends funds to Europe: customs duties, agricultural charges, VAT and others. Between 1996-2018, annual transfers have been relatively constant at ±1% of GDP.
Since joining the European Union, Portugal has benefitted from extensive economic support. According to the Bank of Portugal, Portugal has received a total of €130 billion since 1986 or ±2.5% of GDP per annum. Portugal ranks amongst the highest among countries with EU subsidy allocations. Nevertheless, the movement of money is reciprocal. Portugal also sends funds to Europe: customs duties, agricultural charges, VAT and others. Between 1996-2018, annual transfers have been relatively constant at ±1% of GDP.