Since leaving the European Union, the UK is now considered a “third country”. As a result, it is now a legal requirement for all non-residents of Portugal who own property, hold a bank account or have a business there to appoint a tax representative. If you don’t, you could face fines of up to €7,500 – scary, right? But don’t panic – the deadline for finding a tax representative has been extended until 30 June 2022, thanks to Covid-19 disruption, so you still have plenty of time.
What about if you are looking to buy a property in the near future? Does this extended deadline still apply to you? Here is all you need to know regarding tax representatives in Portugal…
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What does a tax representative do?
So, what do tax representatives actually do? Well, they are basically the middleman between you and the Portuguese Tax Department. It is their job to inform you about your tax obligations, laws and any deadlines, and to ensure you meet them! Ultimately, they will make sure you do not incur fiscal infractions and fines.
Who needs a tax representative?
All non-residents of Portugal who own property, hold a bank account or have a business there must appoint a tax representative. This includes those who live outside of Portugal for more than six months and one day.
Who does the extended deadline apply to?
The extended deadline of 30 June 2022 only applies to people who already own a property, have opened a bank account, or run a business in Portugal and have not yet appointed a tax representative.
If you are thinking about buying a property in Portugal, you must appoint a tax representative BEFORE you get a Portuguese fiscal number. You will have 60 days from when your fiscal status changes to find your tax representative.
The rules say all non-residents who earn taxable income in Portugal need a tax representative. Do I still need one if I own a property but do not rent it out?
The short answer: yes. If you pay taxes on your property, this counts as deriving income from a Portuguese source.
How do I appoint a tax representative?
There are multiple ways of appointing a tax representative. One way is to do it online via the Portuguese Finance Portal, or if you’d prefer to do it in person, you can visit your local tax office.
Who can be my tax representative?
In theory, your tax representative can be any individual or business with a fiscal address or head office in Portugal. So, you could use a family member or a friend who are resident in Portugal, however, they must be willing to accept responsibility of receiving communications and dealing with your taxes.
Alternatively, you can use an accountant, solicitor or a lawyer.
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How much will it cost to appoint a tax representative?
If you choose to use a professional service, prices will vary, but in general you will have to pay a registration fee and ongoing annual fees. Often, you will not have to pay an annual fee in the year that you register with your tax representative.