Portugal NHR for international musicians (Article 17 OECD) foreign earned income tax exemption

Hi All!
My wife and I currently live in the Netherlands and want to relocate to Portugal because of the NHR scheme. My wife is an international musician (dj) and almost all of our income is from gigs performed around the world. Does anyone have experience with article 17 from the OECD model? As far as we understand, only her Portuguese income will be taxed at the 20% and all income derived elsewhere is exempt of taxation because it MAY be taxed at source (but doesn’t have to be taxed at source). This foreign income tax exemption is only granted to certain groups of people whose work is considered by Portugal to be a high added value activity. Musician is number 204 in this category.

Article 81 - Elimination of international legal double taxation (number 5a&b)

5 - Non-habitual residents in Portuguese territory who obtain, abroad, category B income, earned in activities of providing high added value services, of a scientific, artistic or technical nature, to be defined in an ordinance of the member of the Government responsible for the area of ​​finance, or from intellectual or industrial property, or from the provision of information regarding experience acquired in the industrial, commercial or scientific sector, as well as categories E, F and G, the exemption method applies, simply that any of the conditions set out in the following paragraphs are met:

a) They can be taxed in the other Contracting State, in accordance with the convention to eliminate double taxation concluded by Portugal with that State; or

b) Can be taxed in another country, territory or region, in accordance with the OECD model tax convention on income and assets, interpreted in accordance with the observations and reservations made by Portugal, in cases where there is no convention for eliminate double taxation entered into by Portugal, provided that they are not included in the list approved by order of the member of the Government responsible for the area of ​​finance, relating to clearly more favorable privileged taxation regimes and, as well, provided that the income, according to the criteria provided for in article 18, are not to be considered obtained in Portuguese territory.

This seems pretty clear and straight forward but every accountant we speak with says we will owe 20% on our worldwide income, which contradicts what the Portal das Financas says. They seem to only know the simplified NHR scheme but do not have experience with artists who benefit further because of article 17 OECD model. A club promoter MAY withhold tax in the source country but that shouldn’t matter because I understand that in Portugal if you are in a high value added activity, you can choose between the credit and exemption method of withholding taxes.

My question is: does anyone have experience with this? Or direct me to an accountant or tax lawyer who has experience with internationally touring artists? We are making this our full time job to read every tax treaty and article and have gotten in touch with about 10 tax lawyers and accountants and it seems that either we know something they don’t know or we have completely misunderstood Portuguese tax laws.

Many thanks,

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