St. Julians, Malta
Dragonara Business Centre, Office 506, Dragonara Road,
Paceville, St Julian’s, STJ 3141 Malta
+356 (277) 811-04
Vienna, Austria
Doblhoffgasse 9, 1010
+43 (650) 540-49-79
All offices
Quick Answer

Beneficial Tax Status in Portugal: How to Get NHR and What Is the Benefit

Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) in Portugal is a special tax status for new residents. Its owners are exempt from paying taxes on global income. Income earned in Portugal is taxed at a flat rate of 20%.

Foreign investors may get a Portugal Golden Visa and optimise their taxes applying for NHR status.

How to get a beneficial tax status of Non-Habitual Resident in Portugal

What is Non-Habitual Resident tax status in Portugal?

The NHR scheme helps foreigners to alleviate their tax burden in Portugal. The preferential tax status is issued for ten years without the possibility of renewing it.

10 years
NHR preferential tax status applies

The conditions for the registration and operation of the tax regime for holders of NHR Portugal status are enshrined in Legislative Decree No. 249 of September 23rd, 2009. 

The Portugal NHR program has been operating since 2009 and gives the option to pay fewer taxes. To apply for NHR status, you need to get a Portuguese residence permit and stay in the country for 183 days a year. In that case, you can change your tax residency. 

Individuals can obtain a residence permit in different ways: apply for a job in a Portuguese company, enrol in a Portuguese university or marry a Portuguese citizen. 

Under the Portugal Golden Visa Program, wealthy people can also obtain a residence permit by investing in the Portuguese economy. The program offers eight investment options, including buying a property. Holders of a residence permit in Portugal have the right to live, work, conduct business and study in the country without restrictions.

Benefits of the NHR in Portugal

The flat tax rate for pensions from other countries is 10%. The rule applies if the recipient changed his tax residence to Portuguese and received Non-Habitual Resident status after April 1st, 2020.

10%
Flat rate pension tax

Tax residents of Portugal without Non-Habitual Resident status pay pension tax as income tax: on a progressive scale with a rate of up to 48%.

The fixed tax rate on income from employment. Highly qualified professionals who receive salaries from Portuguese companies or work in Portugal as self-employed can pay income tax at a rate of 20%. In a standard situation, income tax is levied on a progressive scale: the rate can be up to 48%.

The personal income tax rate in Portugal 

Annual incomeThe rate for a Non-Habitual Resident The rate on general conditions
Up to €7,112 20%14,5%
€7,112 to €10,73223%
€10,732 to €20,32228.5%
€20,322 to €25,075 35%
€25,075 to €36,967 37%
€36,967 to €80,882 48%
€80,882 to €250,000 48%
+ 2.5% — additional tax
€250,000+48%
+ 5% — additional tax

No taxes on gifts, inheritance and wealth are paid by non-habitual residents in Portugal.

No tax on foreign source income if it's generated in the country that has a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with Portugal. Foreign sourced income is exempt from income tax if it is already taxed in the source country.

Portugal DTA country list

AlgeriaCabo VerdeGermanyKuwaitOmanSweden
AndorraCanadaGreeceLuxembourgPanamaSwitzerland
AngolaChilliGuinea‑BissauLatviaPakistanTimor‑Leste
AustriaChinaHollandLithuaniaPeruTunisia
BahrainCyprusHong KongMacaoPolandTurkey
BarbadosColombiaHungaryMaltaQatarUAE
BelgiaCôte d'ivoireIndiaMexicoRomaniaUK
BrazilCroatiaIndonesiaMoldovaRussiaUSA
BulgariaCubaIrelandMontenegroSão Tomé and PríncipeUkraine
Czech RepublicFinlandIcelandMoroccoSan MarinoUruguay
ChileFranceItalyMozambiqueSenegalVenezuela
CroatiaGeorgiaIzraelNorwaySingaporeVietnam

The holder of the Non-Habitual Resident status does not pay tax in Portugal on dividends, interest and royalties, capital gains, rental income from real estate outside Portugal, or income from employment in another country.

The income must be received from foreign companies and funds. You do not need to pay dividends and interest tax only if the income is received from a country that is not an offshore jurisdiction.

The global income tax rate in Portugal

Income typeThe rate for a Non-Habitual ResidentThe rate on general conditions
Dividends, interest and royalties0%28%
Capital gain28%
Rental income 28%
Labour incomeUp to 48%

Global income and retirement benefits are tax exempt in Portugal if taxes are paid in the source country. At the same time, an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation or a model convention of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on taxation of income must be concluded between Portugal and such a country.

Each tax story is different and combines many factors. In tax planning, your plans for earning income and living in a particular country are of fundamental importance. We recommend that you seek advice from specialists in tax structuring, who will help you choose the best tax regime for you, based on your current situation and goals.

Victor Esik, the head of the Portuguese office of Immigrant Invest
Victor Esik,
Head of the Portuguese office of Immigrant Invest

Who can benefit from the NHR program

Only new tax residents of Portugal can apply for Non-Habitual Resident tax status. To do this, the applicant must fulfil at least one of the conditions:

  • have lived in Portugal for more than 183 days in the last year;
  • purchase residential real estate in Portugal, which is used as a permanent residence;
  • to serve on a ship or aircraft of a company registered in Portugal on December 31st of the reporting year;
  • have been in public service in the foreign missions of the Portuguese government in the past 12 months.

A prerequisite for all applicants is not to have tax resident status and not pay taxes in Portugal for five years before changing the tax residence to Portuguese.

5 years
you cannot pay taxes in Portugal before applying for the NHR status

Highly qualified professionals who can participate in the NHR program and pay income tax at a flat rate are:

  • architects;
  • engineers;
  • geologists;
  • artists of theatre, ballet, cinema, radio and television;
  • singers, sculptors, musicians and painters;
  • auditors and tax consultants;
  • physicians, such as dentists, surgeons, therapists, physiotherapists, gastroenterologists, ophthalmologists, orthopedists, otolaryngologists, and paediatricians;
  • university professors;
  • psychologists;
  • biologists;
  • programmers and IT specialists;
  • journalists;
  • research and development specialists;
  • designers;
  • top managers and heads of companies.

How to get the Non-Habitual Resident tax status

1
Get NIF, an analogue of TIN
2
Change tax residence to the Portuguese one
3
Apply for the NHR tax status

Registration of the NIF taxpayer number takes place in person when visiting the Portuguese tax office, by email or through a representative.

The procedure for registering a taxpayer number takes from half an hour to five working days, depending on the method of submitting the application. The nuances of registration and a list of documents for obtaining a NIF.

Citizens and residents of countries outside the European Union receive a NIF through a tax representative. This could be a lawyer or a law firm. At the same time, the address of the tax representative in Portugal is indicated in the application for NIF.

As confirmation of registration, the applicant receives a certificate or a plastic card with a unique nine-digit number. Also, the taxpayer has a personal account on the website of the Portuguese tax service.

Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF) — a taxpayer number in Portugal, how to get it
On the left is a certificate confirming the NIF registration. A plastic card is issued for a fee
Source: nifonline.pt

A change of tax residence occurs if a person lives in Portugal for more than 183 days a year. It is not necessary to spend six months in a row in the country: the total period of stay is considered so that you can stretch 183 days for the entire reporting year.

The day of stay in the country is counted only if the person has spent the night in Portuguese territory. If you arrive in the mo ing and leave in the evening of the same day, this period does not count towards 183 days for changing your tax residence.

Victor Esik, the head of the Portuguese office of Immigrant Invest
Victor Esik,
Head of the Portuguese office of Immigrant Invest

A person also becomes a tax resident if he has a residential property in Portugal, which is his main place of residence.

To officially change your tax residence, you need to contact the Portuguese tax office. If, before that, a tax representative acted on behalf of the applicant, then when the residence is changed, the NIF address also changes: from the address of the tax representative to the applicant's registration address in Portugal.

Obtaining the preferential tax status. To apply for registration of NHR status, you must fill out a form on the website of the Portuguese tax office.

You must apply for preferential tax status no later than March 31st of the year following the year you change your tax residency to Portuguese. The application indicates the year of obtaining the tax residency certificate in Portugal and the country of the previous tax residence. The applicant also confirms that he meets the conditions for changing tax status.

March 31st
Last day for NHR applications

The status of the application can be tracked through your personal account on the tax service website. The decision on the application will also appear in your personal account as an official document in PDF format.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is NHR status in Portugal?

The NHR scheme helps foreigners to alleviate their tax burden in Portugal. Preferential tax status is issued for ten years. You can get it once without the possibility of renewing it.

The Portugal NHR program has been operating since 2009 and gives the option to pay fewer taxes. To change your tax residence, you need a Portuguese residence permit to live in the country legally. 

You can get a residence permit in different ways — apply for a job in a Portuguese company, enrol in a Portuguese university, marry a Portuguese citizen or invest in the country’s economy.

When can you apply for NHR in Portugal?

To apply for the Non-habitual Resident program, you must register in the Portal das Finanças and request a password. The application must be submitted by March 31st of the year following the year they became tax residents in Portugal.

How long does it take to get an NHR status?

It usually takes about two weeks for an application for the NHR regime to be accepted or declined.

What are the benefits of NHR in Portugal?

The benefits of the NHR program in Portugal include:

  • tax exemption on almost all foreign sources of income;
  • a 20% flat rate on certain Portuguese-source income, which may be lower than a standard rate which is up to 48%, depending on the amount of income;
  • exemption of tax on gifts or inheritance to family members;
  • no wealth tax.
What happens after 10 years of NHR in Portugal?

Once you have been a tax resident for ten years, the NHR status and benefits cannot be used anymore. You will be liable to tax on your worldwide income and gains at the full tax rates.

Who is eligible for NHR in Portugal?

Only new tax residents of Portugal can apply for Non-Habitual Resident tax status. To do this, the applicant must fulfil at least one of the conditions:

  • have lived in Portugal for more than 183 days in the last year;
  • purchase residential real estate in Portugal, which is used as a permanent residence;
  • to serve on a ship or aircraft of a company registered in Portugal on December 31st of the reporting year;
  • have been in public service in the foreign missions of the Portuguese government in the past 12 months.
How do I apply for NHR in Portugal?
  1. Get NIF, an analogue of TIN.
  2. Change tax residence to the Portuguese one.
  3. Apply for the NHR tax status.
Are pensions taxed in Portugal?

With NHR status, pensions are taxed at 10%. There is no wealth tax or inheritance and gift tax on assets outside Portugal.

Do expats pay taxes in Portugal?

Yes, if they lived in Portugal for more than 183 days during the last year.

Please confirm subscription and get the first later soon
Sign up for the weekly digest and receive the best offers
Get second citizenship or residence fast and efficient
Sign up for emails on new Golden Visa & Citizenship by investment articles

Beneficial Tax Status in Portugal: How to Get NHR and What Is the Benefit