Under current Portuguese legislation it is mandatory in most instances for non-residents with income arising in Portugal to have fiscal representation. The Fiscal Representative is obliged to see that the non-resident meets compulsory compliance commitments. As the liaison between the tax payer and the Tax Office the Fiscal Representative can also help guide the non-resident through Portuguese bureaucracy. The Portuguese Government has now taken serious measurements to ensure that taxes like I.M.I. (Rates or council tax), Mais-Valía (Capital Gains Tax) and I.M.T. (Transfer tax or Stamp duty) are really paid and collected.

For the non-Portuguese property owner, the government have now enforced a law that stipulates that every non-Portuguese individual or company purchasing, owning or selling a property in Portugal must appoint a Fiscal Representative and this appointment must be registered in the local Tax Department.
The appointment of a fiscal representative can be advantageous for the following reasons:

— The activity carried out is deemed to be that of the representative;

— The address for fiscal purposes in the country in question is that of the representative;

— Notices from the Fiscal Authorities are sent directly to the representative thus allowing for compliance within the deadlines;

— The documentation is signed and formalities are dealt with by the representative without the client having to be present;

— The client is freed from having to deal with administrative obligations. 

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