Up until now, anyone with a Portuguese tax number (NIF) living outside of the EU, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, were required to hire a fiscal representative, regardless of whether they have tax obligations in Portugal or not.
There seems to be some confusing information on this.
E.g. IAServices suggest that even with after the new notification system is activated, you’d still need a tax rep:
“the appointment of a tax representative continues to be mandatory for non-resident citizens who, after the assignment of a TIN as non-residents and while residing in a third country, remain or become the subject of a tax legal relationship in Portugal. This way, owning a property is considered an example of tax legal relationships.”
However, it is not clear to me for what purpose I should retain the tax rep, if I will be able to receive all tax info electronically and directly on Portal das Financas?
@tommigun Yeah, I think the communication could have been clearer. However, reading the official announcement I can’t understand it any other way than what we’ve written in the article.
From the announcement (translated, emphasis mine):
Portuguese taxpayers residing outside the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will be able to join the new system of electronic notifications and citations on the Finance Portal from 1 July. With this accession, all taxpayers residing outside those countries can waive the designation of tax representative.
Taxpayers residing abroad who do not maintain any legal-tax relationship with the country are already exempt from appointing a tax representative in Portugal.
Actually, it seems that the rule about non-EU/EEA residents without any legal-tax relationship with Portugal not needing a tax representative is actually not a change of legislation, but a new interpretation of the existing rules by the tax authorities:
On the other hand, the waiving of the tax representative requirement for those that subscribe to notifications through Portal das Finanças was implemented through a decree law passed on June 15 (see #3):
Thanks for the link to the official announcement. The second sentence of the announcement, with the text “all taxpayers” seems clear. The last sentence of the announcement seems to just call out that a subset of all taxpayers were already exempt. I’ll ask our lawyers, who are also our tax representatives, for their opinion. Of course they have a vested interest. We have until November before we have to pay the annual fee to them.
I reached out to IAS and they will actually publish an update tomorrow as the Portuguese tax authority has clarified that indeed all non-EU/EEA residents can avoid assigning a tax representative, with only one exception: Those with “economic activity” in Portugal. I assume this refers to people running a business in Portugal.
That being said, if your law firm is taking care of all the tax stuff on your behalf (especially if you own real estate in Portugal), it may not be beneficial to opt out of their tax representative service. Otherwise they may not have the information needed to take the proper action on your behalf. But everyone’s situation and needs will likely vary on this point.
Thank you so much for the instructions on how to sign up for email notifications! It helped a lot. I have a NIF but I have no tax obligations at this time. Under contact on the website, I now see my name and email so this process worked. However, when I print out my NIF representation certificate, it still lists NIF Online PT. Is there another step I need to go through to remove them as my representative now that I’m signed up for email notifications?
Yes, to make things absolutely tidy you would need to remove NIF Online if you are no longer using them as your tax rep.
How to do it:
a) You pay NIF Online around EUR39.90 and they will do it for you (i.e. will retract themselves)
b) You do it yourself following instructions found on bordr.io. How do I cancel my fiscal representation with Bordr? - Bordr
Please note that instruction suggests the change of your residence address to PT as a requirement - but this is no longer required since this summer as we know from this thread.
But I actually don’t know what would happen if you take a ‘do nothing’ option.
Because yes, NIFOnline are listed as your tax rep while they are not (no longer your rep), but you will anyway receive online notifications directly from Portal das Financas as you already subscribed to them. I have just received mine by email to pay IMI, so it’s working.
Thank you! I had seen that at Bordir but it seemed focused on address change and I wasn’t doing that part of it. I followed the instructions but just altered the letter to ask for just removal of fiscal representative. We’ll see how it goes!
I posed the question to NIFOnline as to whether a non-EU Portuguese tax payer living outside of Portugal is required to have a tax representative if he/she has registered for electronic notifications and citations on the Finance Portal. Their response was that only “Portuguese nationals” living abroad with tax responsibility in Portugal are not required to have a tax representative. All other nationalities with tax responsibility in Portugal are required to have a tax representative.
@antonanton4 I am afraid NIFOnline provided incorrect advice to you in this case, or there was some misunderstanding.
The same NIFOnline confirms the possibility of cancelling tax representation, moreover they offer a service to facilitate such cancellation. Here’s the quote from the email I received from NIFOnline as part of their annual renewal:
" Due to the new rules, in some cases, the foreigner does not need to maintain a fiscal representative, if you do not want to contract the annual renewal, check with the Tax and Customs Authority (Finance) the possibility of withdrawing the fiscal representation, or if you are interested, we provide an advisory service to Assist you in withdrawing the fiscal representation , through the requirements demanded by Tax and Customs Authority (Finance)."
Hi Tommy. Their communication to you does state “in some cases” fiscal representation is not needed. They were pretty clear in my communication that only Portuguese nationals with business activity (tax responsibility) are exempt. Non-Portuguese and non-EU residents with tax responsibility (or business activity such as renting a house) still require a fiscal representative. I was informed that if you own goods or income with fiscal obligations attached, and live outside Portugal, you are required to have a fiscal representative. I was told that it is possible to remove the fiscal representation, if you do not own goods or income with fiscal obligations attached.
My point is that none of the official announcements make reference to the nationality of the taxable person, only to their residence. So whatever you received from the NIFOnline regarding ‘only Portuguese nationals’ must be either incorrect or wrongly attributed in this context.
The determining factor for the tax rep obligation is your ‘economic activity’, which is described further in the cryptic language of AT’s official announcement from Jul 20, 2022 (see section 1, paragraph 5):
I personally intend to keep my tax rep for the remainder of their 12-month term as I already paid.
But I plan to remove the tax rep for my dependants as they certainly do not have any PT tax obligations at the moment.