The imposition of IMI and IMT for companies directly or indirectly based in so-called tax havens, approved in the State Budget, does not distinguish between the jurisdictions with which Portugal has double taxation (ADT) and information exchange (ATI) agreements from those in which complete opacity prevails in capital movements. Sovereign funds and other investors from Oman, the United Arab Emirates or Qatar as well as investors based in Hong Kong – all included in the list of tax havens but with ADT with Portugal – will be some of the hardest hit. The same happens with the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Mann or Panama, where the funds are established, which aggregate a large part of institutional investors worldwide.
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.
If you meet any of the criteria to be considered resident for tax purposes in Portugal, you arew required to register with the tax authorities and submit annual tax declarations. Tax residents are liable to Portuguese taxation on worldwide income. When a taxpayer fails to report income that is the object of information sharing from any number of diverse sources, Finanças moves to coercive settlement of the assessment due. Continue reading
The Tax Authority can now claw back “IMT” tax breaks when owners engage in Local Lodging or letting rooms to students. If you bought your home as your “personal and principal residence”, you paid a lower property transfer tax (“IMT”) at the time of purchase. According to a recent “AT” ruling, if within the following 6 years you practice holiday or student letting, Finanças can rescind the tax break and retroactively reclaim any additional tax due.
In theory, even though a tourist endeavour (“empreendimento turístico”) may be exempt from Municipal Property Transfer Tax (“IMT”), the benefit is rarely realised. This is due to the fact that most proposed projects acquire property long before the completion of the required bureaucratic process. In practice, the purchase appears as a routine acquisition, thus failing to qualify for the exclusion.