Portuguese Taxes: Insights from Experienced Accountants

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Portuguese Taxes: Insights from Experienced Accountants

by | Tuesday, 23 May 2023 | Corporate Income Tax, Investment, Personal Income Tax

Portuguese Taxes

As experienced accountants in Madeira Island, Portugal, we have seen firsthand how Portuguese taxes can look overwhelming to expats. We have also assisted said expats in maximizing tax savings for them and their businesses. The Portuguese tax system can be complex, but significant Portuguese tax savings can be achieved with the right knowledge and strategies. In this article, we will share insights on understanding the Portuguese tax system, tax saving opportunities, common mistakes to avoid, and the importance of working with an experienced accountant.

Introduction to Portuguese Taxes

Portugal has a reputation for being a tax-friendly country. However, it’s important to understand the different types of taxes and how they are calculated. The main taxes in Portugal include:

  • Personal Income Tax (PIT): This tax is based on an individual’s income and is calculated progressively, ranging from 14.5% to 48%. PIT is paid annually, and the deadline for filing is typically in June.
  • Corporate Income Tax (CIT): This tax applies to businesses and is based on company profits. The standard rate is 21%, but there are reduced rates for small and medium-sized enterprises. Furthermore, companies operating in Madeira are subject to a 14,7% or 5% CIT rate.
  •  Value-Added Tax (VAT): This tax is similar to sales tax and is applied to most goods and services. The standard rate is 23%, but certain items have reduced rates. In Madeira Island, the standard rate is 22%.

Benefits of Maximizing Your Tax Savings

Maximizing your tax savings in Portugal can have significant benefits. For individuals, it means having more money to spend or save. For businesses, it means having more resources to invest in growth and development. In addition, taking advantage of tax-saving opportunities can help reduce financial stress and improve overall financial well-being.

Understanding the Portuguese Tax System

The Portuguese tax system can be complex, but understanding the basics can greatly maximise tax savings. One key aspect to understand is tax residency. In Portugal, individuals are considered tax residents if they spend more than 183 days in the country in a given year or have a permanent home in Portugal. Tax residents are subject to PIT on their worldwide income, while non-residents are only subject to PIT on income earned in Portugal.

Another important aspect to understand is tax deductions. Portugal offers a range of deductions for individuals and businesses, including healthcare costs, education expenses, and charitable donations. It’s important to keep track of these expenses throughout the year and properly document them for Portuguese taxes purposes.

Portuguese Taxes and Saving Opportunities for Individuals

There are several tax-saving opportunities available to individuals in Portugal. One option is to invest in a Portuguese pension plan, which offers tax benefits and can help secure financial stability in retirement. Another option is to take advantage of the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime, which offers significant tax exemptions for foreign residents who move to Portugal.

Additionally, individuals can consider investing in real estate, as Portugal offers several tax incentives for property owners.

Tax Saving Opportunities for Businesses

Businesses in Portugal can also take advantage of several tax-saving opportunities. One option is to invest in research and development, which offers tax credits and exemptions. Another option is to utilize the Patent Box regime, which offers tax benefits for companies that hold patents or other intellectual property rights.

Additionally, businesses can consider utilizing tax incentives for green investments or investments in low-density areas, which can help promote sustainable growth and development.

Tax Planning Strategies for Expats

Expats in Portugal face unique tax challenges, but with the right planning strategies, significant tax savings can be achieved. One important strategy is properly documenting income and expenses, especially if income is earned in multiple countries. Another strategy is to take advantage of tax treaties between Portugal and other countries to avoid double taxation.

Additionally, expats can consider utilizing the NHR tax regime, which offers significant tax benefits for foreign residents who move to Portugal. It’s important to work with an experienced accountant to identify the best tax planning strategies for individual circumstances.

Common Tax Mistakes to Avoid

Individuals and businesses should avoid several common tax mistakes in Portugal. One mistake is failing to properly document expenses and deductions, which can lead to missed tax savings. Another mistake is failing to file taxes on time, which can result in penalties and interest charges.

Additionally, businesses should avoid failing to keep proper accounting records or failing to comply with VAT requirements, which can result in significant fines and legal issues.

Working with an Experienced Accountant

Working with an experienced accountant is essential for maximizing tax savings in Portugal. A knowledgeable accountant can help identify tax-saving opportunities, develop effective tax planning strategies, and ensure compliance with Portuguese tax laws and regulations.

In addition, an experienced accountant can provide valuable advice on financial planning, investment strategies, and business growth and development.

Accounting Services for Tax Savings

We at MCS can help individuals and businesses maximize tax savings. These services include tax planning and preparation, auditing and compliance, financial consulting, and business advisory services.

It’s important to choose an accounting firm with a proven track record of success and experience in the Portuguese tax system.


Maximizing tax savings in Portugal requires a thorough understanding of the tax system, knowledge of tax-saving opportunities, and effective planning strategies. By working with an experienced accountant and utilizing the right tax-saving techniques, individuals and businesses can achieve significant financial benefits and improve overall financial well-being.

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