Portugal’s VAT Rate: Everything you Need to Know

Home | Investment | Portugal’s VAT Rate: Everything you Need to Know

Portugal’s VAT Rate: Everything you Need to Know

by | Friday, 28 July 2023 | Investment

portugal vat rate

In today’s global economy, value-added tax (VAT) is crucial in government revenue generation. Portugal is no exception, with its VAT system that helps fund public services and infrastructure. Understanding the ins and outs of Portugal’s VAT rate is essential for businesses and consumers. This article will delve into the details of Portugal’s VAT system, including its standard and reduced VAT rates and the unique VAT rates applied in Madeira Island. Whether you are a business owner or an individual, this comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about Portugal’s VAT rate.

What is VAT?

Before we dive into Portugal’s VAT system, let’s first understand what VAT is. VAT is a consumption tax imposed on the value added at each stage of the supply chain, from production to the final sale of goods or services. It is ultimately borne by the final consumer but is collected and remitted by businesses to the government. Countries around the world widely adopt VAT as a means to generate revenue and promote fairness in the taxation system.

Overview of Portugal’s VAT system

The Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority (AT) regulates Portugal’s VAT system. The VAT rate in Portugal is applied to the country’s taxable supply of goods and services. The system follows the European Union (EU) VAT Directive, which provides a standardized framework for VAT across EU member states. Portugal’s VAT system is administered through a self-assessment mechanism, where businesses are responsible for calculating, collecting, and remitting VAT to the AT.

The standard VAT rate in Portugal

The standard VAT rate in Portugal is currently set at 23%. This rate is applied to most goods and services, including but not limited to general consumer products, professional services, and entertainment activities. The standard rate is subject to change by the government, so businesses need to stay updated on any changes that may affect their operations.

Portugal’s standard VAT rate of 23% is relatively high compared to other EU member states. However, it is essential to note that VAT rates can vary significantly across countries, depending on factors such as economic conditions, government policies, and social priorities. Businesses must consider the impact of the standard VAT rate on their pricing strategies and consumer demand.

Reduced VAT rates in Portugal

In addition to the standard VAT rate, Portugal also applies reduced VAT rates to specific goods and services. These reduced rates are designed to promote certain economic activities, alleviate tax burdens on essential products, and support particular sectors of the economy. Portugal has two reduced VAT rates: 6% and 13%.

The reduced rate of 6% applies to essential goods and services, such as food, water, pharmaceutical products, medical equipment, books, and public transportation. This lower rate aims to ensure affordability and accessibility to basic necessities for all citizens.

The reduced rate of 13% applies to a range of goods and services, including specific food products, agricultural supplies, energy products, restaurant services, and cultural events. This rate balances promoting economic activity and maintaining a reasonable consumer tax burden.

Madeira VAT rate

Madeira, an Autonomous Region of Portugal, has unique VAT rates. The region applies reduced rates to attract investment and promote economic development. Madeira Island has a reduced VAT rate of 5% on a wide range of goods and services, including hotel accommodations, restaurants, cultural events, and passenger transportation.

The lower VAT rate in Madeira Island makes it an attractive destination for tourists and businesses. It provides a competitive advantage for the tourism sector and encourages regional investment. If you plan to visit or do business in Madeira Island, you must know the specific VAT rates applicable to your activities.

VAT returns and compliance in Portugal

In Portugal, businesses are required to submit periodic VAT returns to the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority. These returns summarize the VAT charged on sales and the VAT paid on purchases during the reporting period. The frequency of VAT returns depends on the size and nature of the business. Small businesses may have quarterly returns, while larger companies may have monthly returns.

Compliance with VAT regulations is essential to avoid penalties and maintain good standing with the tax authorities. Businesses must ensure their VAT returns are accurate, complete, and submitted within the prescribed deadlines. It is advisable to use accounting software or engage the services of a tax professional to ensure proper VAT compliance.


Portugal’s VAT rate is significant for businesses and individuals in the country. Understanding the standard and reduced VAT rates and the unique rates in Madeira Island is essential for pricing strategies, tax planning, and compliance. By familiarizing yourself with Portugal’s VAT system, registration requirements, and compliance obligations, you can confidently navigate the intricacies of VAT. Stay informed, seek professional advice when needed, and ensure timely compliance to avoid unnecessary complications. VAT may be a complex matter, but with knowledge and proactive measures, you can effectively manage your VAT obligations in Portugal.

Other Articles

Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list and get the latest information about incorporating in Madeira (Portugal), Expat Services and Vessel Registration.

Need Help?

Should you have any questions about us and our services, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact Us

Other Articles

Want to talk with us?

Should you have any questions about us and our services, please do not hesitate to contact us.