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Portugal may not be the first country that comes to mind when talking about favourable tax regimes but in fact, Portugal offers a very attractive tax regime for resident individuals, referred to as Non-Habitual Residents (NHRs).
The Portuguese Non-Habitual Residency status enables those who become tax resident in Portugal, and are accepted as NHR, the opportunity to receive qualifying income tax free both in Portugal and in the country of source of the income.
The NHR regime represents a major step forward in making Portugal a tax free jurisdiction for individuals in receipt of qualifying non-resident income. Qualifying income includes pension, dividend, royalty and interest income.
This attractive regime also covers professional income from high value-added activities, which benefit from a special flat tax rate of 20%.
The sole requirement to benefit from this preferential treatment is to become a Portuguese tax resident, not having been a tax resident in Portugal in the previous five years. This status is granted for 10 years
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
A Non-Habitual Resident (“NHR”) will be exempt from personal income tax on certain types of qualifying income if this income is subject to tax in the country of source under an existing Double Tax Treaty that allows for this or, if no Tax Treaty exists, were subject to tax in another jurisdiction and are not considered as Portuguese source income under domestic rules.
Certain types of qualifying income under the regime will also benefit from a double tax exemption i.e. an exemption in Portugal and in the source jurisdiction. A special flat rate of 20% is also applicable for certain types of income arising from a number of highly qualified activities.
DO I HAVE TO PAY TAX IN THE SOURCE OF INCOME AFTER MY REGISTRATION AS NHR?
After your registration as a NHR in Portugal you are able to request an international certificate of residence to the Portuguese tax authorities. This document then has to be sent to the tax authorities of source of income and that should enable you to be exempt of tax in that jurisdiction, unless a withholding tax applies.
WHAT TYPES OF INCOME ARE ELIGIBLE FOR EXEMPTION UNDER NHR STATUS?
Pensions, dividends, royalties and interest from non-Portuguese sourced income are exempt from personal income tax in Portugal. Certain types of salaries, provided they are paid from a non-Portuguese source, can also be exempt from tax.