Business and taxes

Portugal tax guide: rates, exemptions and payment terms

Portuguese tax residents pay income tax on a progressive scale, and businesses can reduce the corporate tax rate to 5%. Only premium real estate is subject to a wealth tax.

New tax residents are entitled to benefits for 10 years if they apply for the status of a Non-Habitual Resident. For example, they do not pay tax on global income.

Learn what rates are valid and in what cases they are applied, how to change the tax residence and when to pay taxes to avoid fines.

Taxes in Portugal: taxes for individuals and legal entities, benefits and conditions of the DTT

How the tax system works in Portugal

The main taxes in Portugal are federal. These include the income tax and corporate tax, VAT, capital gains tax, property transfer tax and tax on inheritance.

Homeowners and local companies pay taxes to the municipal budget. In the case of real estate, the council tax rate depends on the property's value and the region in which the property is located. The income from the tax goes to finance municipal services, such as garbage collection.  

Who pays taxes? Portuguese taxpayers are individuals and legal entities. Therefore, the rates depend on whether the payer is a tax resident of Portugal.

For an individual, it is enough to live in Portugal for 183 days per year to become a tax resident of the country. However, the change of tax residence does not happen automatically. To do this, you need to submit an application to the Portuguese tax office and indicate the Portuguese registration address in the application.

A company needs to register a head office and get a tax number in Portugal to become the country's tax resident.

When to pay taxes? The fiscal year in Portugal coincides with the calendar year and runs from January 1st to December 31st. Therefore, it is necessary to submit returns to the tax service from April 1st to June 30th of the year following the reporting one.

Personal income tax in Portugal 

Income tax is levied if a person receives:

  • salary as an employee of a Portuguese company;
  • payment for activities performed as an individual entrepreneur;
  • interest and royalties on investments;
  • rent payments;
  • pension, including from private pension savings.

A flat rate applies to non-residents. But only income received from a source in Portugal is taxed. For example, if a Portuguese client pays for the services of an individual entrepreneur.

Tax residents of Portugal pay income tax on a progressive scale, where the rate depends on the amount of annual income.

Portuguese tax residents can return part of the amount of tax paid. An automatic deduction is calculated for those who receive income only from Portuguese sources and only in the form of salaries or pensions. 

A taxpayer can apply for a deduction for treatment costs, care for elderly relatives and relatives with disabilities, education, and life and health insurance. A deduction is also made if a person has already paid income tax in another country if Portugal has an agreement with such a country to avoid double taxation.

Income tax rates and deductions for residents

Annual incomeFor non-residentsFor tax residentsDeduction
Up to €7,11225%14.5%€0
€7,112 to €10,73223%€604.54
€10,732 to €20,32228.5%€1,194.8
€20,322 to €25,07535%€2515.63
€25,075 to €36,96737%€3,017.27
€36,967 to €80,88245%€5,974.54

In the case of salaries and pensions, income tax is withheld at payment. The employer or the pension fund pays the tax. At the same time, the first €4,104 of pensions are exempt from tax. But it is mandatory to declare a pension and salary, like all other income for the year.

One tax return for an entire family

Married or civil union spouses can file a joint tax return. But this is optional. If you submit separate tax returns, each spouse indicates 50% of the income received by dependent family members.

A fine of €200 to €2,500 is provided for violation of the deadlines for filing a tax return. If taxes are paid late, a penalty of 10 to 100% of unpaid tax will be charged, but not more than €55,000.

If the taxpayer has violated the deadline for filing a tax return for the first time and has never received fines from the Portuguese tax authority, he is exempt from the fine.

Income declaration schedule

Until February 17th
The taxpayer enters data on the composition of the family in their account on the tax service website
Until February 25th
The taxpayer checks the data on income and expenses on the E-Fatura website
Until March 15th
The taxpayer marks which of the expenses are tax-deductible on the E-Fatura website
From April 1st to June 30th
The taxpayer draws up a tax returnand submits it to the tax service
Until July 31st or November 30th
The tax office calculates the amount of tax payable and issues an invoice
Until August 31st or December 31st
The taxpayer transfers the amount of tax to the bank account specified on the tax service website

Other taxes paid by individuals in Portugal

Additional solidarity rate applies to personal income tax if the payer's annual income exceeds €80,882. The surcharge is calculated separately and is not added to the income tax rate.

on an income of €80,882 to €250,000
on an income over €250,000

Tax on dividends is levied at a rate of 28%. The rate is fixed: it applies to residents and non-residents equally. However, the rate may change if a double tax treaty applies to international payments. 

If the company that pays the dividend is registered in a country on the Portuguese blacklist of tax havens, the tax rate rises to 35%.

Capital gains tax is payable, for example, on the sale of shares. However, if the shares are not listed on the stock exchange, only 50% of the profit from the sale is taxed. The tax rate is the same for residents and non-residents — 28%.

the tax rate on capital gains

Stamp duty is levied only in certain situations: in the case of gifts and inheritances when selling a business or a shareholding. The rates apply to all taxpayers, residents and non-residents of Portugal.

sale of a business or share

Social contributions cover family, pension and unemployment benefits. All employees of Portuguese companies make contributions. The applicable rate is 11%, which is deducted from the employee's salary.

Taxes in Portugal: what taxes do individuals and residence permit holders pay?
Portugal is one of the best countries in Europe to live in. There is a low crime rate, a tolerant attitude towards visitors, high-quality medicine and education

Portuguese corporate tax for legal entities

The corporate tax is paid by all companies operating in Portugal. If the company is not a Portuguese tax resident, it only pays tax on profits earned in Portugal.

The standard corporate tax rate in mainland Portugal is 21%. The rate is lower in Madeira and the Azores — 14.7%.

corporate income tax in mainland Portugal

Additional income tax may be levied at the municipal, regional and federal levels. Regional rates apply to Madeira and the Azores; federal rates apply to mainland Portugal. 

The surtax rate depends on the company's profit and applies only to the part of the profit that exceeds 1.5 million euros.

Company profitsMunicipal taxMainland PortugalMadeiraAzores
Up to 1.5 million eurosUp to 1.5%
1.5 to 7.5 million euros3%2.1%2.4%
7.5 to 35 million euros5%3.5%4%
More than 35 million euros9%6.3%7.2%

Companies pay corporate tax three times a year in equal instalments. For this, financial statements are prepared in advance, which is agreed upon by the meeting of shareholders. 

Some companies also need to be audited. The rule applies to companies that fulfil at least two of the three conditions for two consecutive years:

  1. The company's annual income is more than 3 million euros.
  2. The company's net assets are estimated at more than 1.5 million euros.
  3. The staff has more than 50 employees.

Schedule for reporting and payment of corporate tax

Until March 31st
The company prepares financial statements and approves them at the shareholders' meeting
Until May 31st
The company submits a tax return
Until July 31st
The first payment of corporate tax
Until September 30th
The second payment of corporate tax
Until December 15th
The third payment corporate tax

Taxes for legal entities in Portugal

The Value Added Tax (VAT) applies if a company provides services, imports or sells goods. The rate depends on the type of goods and services and the region of Portugal where the company is registered.

A company submits a tax return and pays VAT once a quarter if its turnover is less than €650,000. If the company's turnover is above the specified threshold, VAT will have to be paid monthly.

Type of product or serviceMainland PortugalMadeiraAzores
Food, books, newspapers, magazines, medicines, medical equipment, and transport services. Full list6%5%4%
Energy production, waste recycling, prepared meals and canned food, and musical instruments. Full list 13%12%9%
Other goods and services23%22%18%

Tax on dividends is levied at different rates for tax residents and non-residents: 

  • 28% — for companies that are tax residents of Portugal;
  • 25%  — if a non-resident company receives dividends from a Portuguese company.

Capital gains tax is levied at the rate of 28%. In addition, when selling shares that are not listed on the stock exchange, one must pay tax on half of the profits.

capital gains tax rate

Stamp duty is paid by legal entities at the same rates as individuals:

  • 5% — for a sale of a business or share;
  • 10% — for gifts and inheritance.

Social contributions are made by all Portuguese employers, but the rate depends on the type of enterprise:

  • 22.3% for government and non-profit organizations;
  • 23.75% for commercial companies.
Taxes for companies in Portugal: business centre of Lisbon
A view of the business centre of Lisbon. If an investor opens a new business in Portugal or invests in an existing company, they can get a Portugal residence permit for the whole family

Property taxes in Portugal

Property transfer tax (Imposto Municipal sobre Transmissões, IMT) is municipal. It must be paid once when buying a property.

If the property is located in a rural area, the tax rate is 5%. However, commercial real estate is taxed at a rate of 6.5%, regardless of location — urban or rural.

A progressive taxation scale is applied for residential urban development. It considers the cost and the purpose of the purchase as a permanent home or a rental.

Tax must be paid after a preliminary contract for the sale of real estate is concluded, but no later than three days before the completion of the transaction.

Property transfer tax rates

RateValue in mainland PortugalValue in Madeira and Azores
0%Up to €92,407 
if a new property is purchased for permanent residence
Up to €115,509 
if a new property is purchased for permanent residence
1%Up to €92,407 
in case of a resale property or a property for renting out
Up to €115,509 
in case of a resale property or a property for renting out
2%€92,407 to €126,403 €115,509 to €158,004 
5%€126,403 to €172,348 €158,004 to €215,435 
7%€172,348 to €287,213€215,435 to €359,016
8%€172,348 to €550,836€359,016 to €717,904
6%€550,836 to €1,000,000€717,904 to €1,000,000
7.5%More than €1,000,000More than €1,000,000

Municipal property tax (Imposto Municipal sobre os Imóveis, IMI) is paid annually. The rate depends on the location of the object:

0.3 to 0.5%
of the value of an urban property
of the value of a rural property

Tax is not charged if the annual household income is up to €15,295. The property must be used only for permanent residence and cost no more than €66,500.

For three years, the owners of a property worth up to €125,000 are exempt from paying tax if the owner’s annual income does not exceed €153,300. Also, for three to five years, buildings subject to reconstruction at the city's expense are exempt from the tax.

The tax can be paid one time or in parts:

  • tax up to €100 must be paid before May 31st;
  • tax from €100 to €500 is paid one time until May 31st or in two instalments — until May 31st and November 30th;
  • tax over €500 is paid one-time until May 31st or three instalments — until May 31st, August 31st and November 30th.
Real estate taxes in Portugal and obtaining a residence permit for the purchase of the real estate
Apartments in a resort complex in Lisbon cost €770,000. The property transfer tax will be €61,600 at a rate of 8%; the municipality tax is €3,850 at a rate of 0.5%

The stamp duty is 0.8% of the property value. It needs to be paid once when buying or selling an object.

stamp duty

Wealth tax (Adicional Imposto Municipal sobre Imóveis, AIMI) is paid by property owners worth more than €600,000. 

The rate does not depend on whether the property owner is a tax resident of Portugal or not. But legal entities pay tax at a rate of 0.4%, and individuals — at a rate of 0.7%. 

If the property is worth more than a million euros, the tax will be levied at 1% for all owners.

If spouses submit one declaration for two, wealth tax begins to be levied on real estate valued at 1.2 million euros.

Wealth tax for property owners in Portugal
A three-bedroom villa in Comporte costs €1,350,000. The wealth tax will amount to €13,500 at a rate of 1%

Capital gains tax. If the seller is a tax resident of Portugal, they pay tax on only half of the profit from the transaction. The amount is added to the rest of the income for the year when preparing a tax return. 

If a resident sells the primary residence and uses the proceeds to buy another property for permanent residence, the tax is not charged. But if the new property is cheaper, half the difference between the profit from the sale of the old home and the cost of buying a new one is taxed.

If the real estate is sold by a pensioner or a resident over 65 years of age, they have the right to invest the profits in a pension fund or insurance company. But this must be done within six months after completing the purchase and sale of housing.

Non-residents pay tax on the total amount of capital gains on real estate transactions.

Inheritance tax is levied only if the property passes into the possession of a distant relative or a person who is not a family member. In this case, a rate of 10% applies.

inheritance tax rate

No tax is charged if the property is inherited by a spouse, children, parents, or grandchildren.

Real estate inheritance tax in Portugal on the example of apartments
The photo shows a two-bedroom apartment in Lisbon. Its cost is €880,000. The amount of tax on the inheritance of such an apartment will be €88,000

Avoidance of double taxation

Portugal has valid double tax treaties with 78 countries. For example, the list includes the states of the European Union, the USA, Canada, Japan, China, India and the United Arab Emirates.

Double tax treaties (DTTs) govern the payment of taxes between countries. So a person or a company pays tax in the country from which it receives income and in the country of residence draws up a tax deduction. If the tax rate is higher in the country of residence, a taxpayer will have to pay the difference.

The DTT also sets special rates for dividends, interest and royalties. 

In addition to DDTs, Portugal has tax information exchange agreements with:

  • Andorra;
  • Antigua and Barbuda;
  • Bermuda;
  • the British Virgin Islands;
  • Gibraltar;
  • the Cayman Islands;
  • Liberia;
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis;
  • Saint Lucia;
  • Turks and Caicos.

Tax benefits for new residents, businesses and retirees

The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) status can only be obtained by persons who were not tax residents and did not pay taxes in Portugal for at least five years before applying for a beneficial status.

At the same time, an applicant must meet at least one of the conditions:

  • live in Portugal for at least 183 days in the last year;
  • have a home in Portugal that is used as a permanent place of residence;
  • be a highly qualified specialist.

Status holders pay tax on income from professional activities at a flat rate of 20% and not on a progressive scale. A fixed rate of 10% also applies to pensions. 

A global income, e.g. dividends, interest, royalties, capital gains, the rental yield from properties located in another country, is not taxed in Portugal.

income tax for professionals
tax on pensions
tax on global income

The Non-Habitual Resident status is issued only once for 10 years. Therefore, it cannot be extended. We described the nuances and procedure for obtaining status in the material “What are the benefits of the NHR tax status in Portugal”.

The reduced income tax rate for businesses. If a small and medium business company is engaged in agriculture, manufacturing or commerce, it may pay income tax at a reduced rate.

The reduced rate only applies to the first €25,000 of the company's profit. After that, the rest of the profit is taxed at the standard rate.

in Madeira and the Azores
in interior regions
in mainland Portugal

The Madeira Free Trade Zone has been operating since 1980. It covers manufacturing, trading, consulting, telecommunications, warehousing, marketing, intellectual property ownership, use of yachts and ships.

If a company registers in Madeira and obtains a special program license, it can pay income tax at 5%. The preferential rate applies to income from transactions with other licensed companies or foreign organizations.

If the licensed company earns income from transactions with other Portuguese entities, then such income is taxed at the standard rate. However, Madeira has lower rates than mainland Portugal: 14.7% instead of 21%.

Benefits apply to dividends, capital gains and stamp duty. We discussed them in more detail in the material “How to open a business in Madeira”.

Tax incentives for businesses in Madeira
Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal. The archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean: a flight from Lisbon to Funchal takes about three hours

How to change tax residence to the Portuguese one

Live in Portugal 183 days a year
Get a NIF — a taxpayer number
Register as a tax resident

Living in Portugal for 183 days a year is impossible on a regular tourist visa. This will require a residence permit.

Foreigners first receive a temporary residence permit. It is issued when applying for a job in a Portuguese company, for studying at a Portuguese university or when marrying a citizen of Portugal. Wealthy people can also get a residence permit by investment.

The Portugal residence permit program has been operating since 2012. To participate, investors can buy real estate or investment fund shares, open their own business or invest in an existing one, create a deposit in a bank, finance scientific research and cultural projects. The minimum investment amount for the program depends on the option.

minimum investment amount

Holders of Portuguese residence permit cards can move to live in Portugal and change their tax residence. Visa-free travel to the Schengen countries, services of European banks, work and study in Portugal are also available to them. And after five years, the owner of a residence permit can apply for Portuguese citizenship and become a citizen of the European Union.

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF) is a unique nine-digit taxpayer number. Its presence is mandatory for any transactions in Portugal: from buying property to going to the supermarket.

To get a NIF, just contact the tax office in person or through a tax representative. The procedure takes no more than half an hour, and the taxpayer receives a certificate in paper form or a plastic card with a number.

The change of tax residence does not occur automatically, even if a person has lived in Portugal for more than six months. To do this, you need to contact the tax office. The application indicates the NIF and the address of registration in Portugal.

To apply for a beneficial NHR tax status, you must also contact the tax office. But this must be done before March 31st of the year following the year when the person changed his tax residence to Portuguese. How to apply for the NHR tax status.

How to become a tax resident of Portugal and move to live in Lisbon
Lisbon, Portugal

Comparison of rates for Portuguese tax residents and non-residents

TaxFor tax residentsFor non-residents
 IndividualsLegal entitiesIndividualsLegal entities
On income14.5–48%5–21%25%21%
On dividends28–35%28%28–35%25%,
if received from a Portuguese company
On capital gains from the sale of shares28%28%28%28%
On capital gains from the sale of real estate50% of the gain
is taxable
100% of the gain
is taxable
50% of the gain
is taxable
100% of the gain
is taxable
Stamp duty5%
sale of a business or shares

inheritance and gifts

purchase of the real estate
sale of a business or shares

inheritance and gifts

purchase of the real estate
sale of a business or shares

inheritance and gifts

purchase of the real estate
sale of a business or shares

inheritance and gifts

purchase of the real estate
Social contributions11%22.3–23.75%11%22.3–23.75%
Property transfer0–8%0–8%0–8%0–8%
Municipal real estate tax0.3–0.8%0.3–0.8%0.3–0.8%0.3–0.8%
Wealth tax when owning real estate0.7%
if the property is worth €600,000 to €1,000,000


if the property is worth more than €1,000,000

if the property is worth €600,000 to €1,000,000


if the property is worth more than €1,000,000

if the property is worth €600,000 to €1,000,000


if the property is worth more than €1,000,000

if the property is worth €600,000 to €1,000,000


if the property is worth more than €1,000,000

Additional taxes2.5–5%
solidarity rate
on gains over €1,500,000
solidarity rate
on gains over €1,500,000

Frequently asked questions

When does tax liability arise in Portugal?

Immediately, as soon as a person or company starts to receive income from a source in Portugal. Also, taxes in Portugal are paid by property owners: when buying, maintaining and selling properties.

What taxes do individuals and companies pay in Portugal?

Individuals pay income tax, tax on dividends, capital gains, stamp duty and social contributions. Most taxes are levied at a flat rate, but personal income tax is levied on a progressive scale from 14.5 to 48%.

Legal entities pay corporate tax: its rate depends on the region and ranges from 14.7 to 21%. Companies with preferential tax status pay income tax at a 5 or 17% rate.

Companies also pay VAT, dividends, capital gains, and stamp duty taxes. In addition, employers must make social contributions.

Both individuals and companies, property owners pay an annual municipal tax, capital gains tax, and stamp duty. In addition, if the property’s value exceeds €600,000, an additional wealth tax is charged.

Is it necessary to change tax residence to Portuguese?

No, it’s not. But tax rates may differ for tax residents and non-residents of Portugal. For example, Portuguese tax residents individuals pay income tax on a progressive scale from 14.5 to 48%. For non-residents, a flat rate of 25% applies.

What benefits can an investor receive when changing tax residence to Portuguese?

New tax residents of Portugal can apply for the preferential Non-Habitual Resident status. Its owners pay tax on income from professional activities at a flat rate of 20%, not on a progressive scale. The tax on pensions is also fixed at 10%, and Portugal will not tax global income.

Portugal tax guide: rates, exemptions and payment terms

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