Moving to Portugal, questions about tax and residency!


Right – I am wading through all the stuff RE moving to Portugal. Basically, just decided it’s the place we’d love to be (me and my partner), but I am British so pre-end of transition is the thinking.

First, some background on my work: I am a freelance travel content creator. I work entirely online as a contractor with clients all around the world, but mostly in the UK, the US, Canada, and western European countries. I am currently registered in the UK as a sole trader.

I have a few concerns about the bureaucracy and what implications getting set up in PT would have on my business:

  1. I’ve read about ‘Green Receipt’ invoicing in Portugal. Currently, I issue invoices for specific projects or use agency sites such as Upwork, which automatically generate invoices. How would this process work in Portugal? Would I be able to issue invoices using my own template or HAVE to use the official one? Also, how would that work with platforms like Upwork which generate their own invoices? I just want to get an idea of how day-to-day invoicing would work and if it would become a chore in PT.
  2. VAT: Would I be liable to pay VAT? I am not currently liable in the UK as my income is below the threshold. I am hoping I’d be exempt in PT on the grounds that I don’t work with any Portuguese companies. All my invoices are issued to companies elsewhere in the EU or outside the EU.
  3. From what I’ve read, I think the simple regime tax method would work best for me. Would this be your guys’ hunch for my style of work, too?
  4. Residency: This will naturally be our first port of call when we arrive in PT because I’d like residency sorted before Brexit. Would you say it’s still feasible this year and can we apply for this using an address of an Airbnb rental or another short-term rental.
  5. How long after gaining residency do I need to set up my biz activity in PT? It might take some time for me to sort things in UK after registering as resident in PT, so thought I could switch business activity perhaps at the end of the UK ta year (Ie April 2021). Would this be okay, or would I be liable in Portugal right away?

Thank you very much for any help/advice you can offer at this stage!

Hey Joey,
I’m currently in a similar situation trying to understand the tax system here in Portugal and become a resident before brexit. I’ve been trawling the internet for answers and from what I can see, there are a lot of people asking similar questions, but the answers are a bit murky.
So I wanted to see where you’d got to in the process and how you’ve gone about it.

Hi Anouska, I am an Irish citizen but am thinking of taking up residency in Portugal and eventually purchasing a property there.
How long do you have to be living there before you are officially resident ?
Have you found any good official web sites giving advice on how to open a bank account, apply for residency, tips for property purchase (e.g. most reputable estate agents to use) etc.