Taxes in Portugal for natural persons

There are various taxes in Portugal for individuals, ranging from income taxes (IRS), consumption taxes (IVA, IUC, ISV) and property taxes (IMI, IMT, IS).

As in most countries around the world, taxes in Portugal help to finance the public operations of the Portuguese state, including such aspects as healthcare, education, security, safety, justice, social security, and equality.

In this article we'll explore taxes in Portugal for natural persons (“pessoas singulares” in Portuguese). We have another article that explores corporate taxation in Portugal.

Taxes in Portugal: IRS - Personal Income Tax

Personal income tax (IRS) is a tax in Portugal that taxes the income of natural persons (private individuals). IRS is governed by the rules set out in the IRS Code.

What is IRS in Portugal?

IRS is a direct tax levied on the income of individuals (not companies and other legal organisations). It is divided into six income categories, each with specific rules.

Who pays IRS in Portugal?

All residents of Portugal are subject to IRS.  In addition, non-residents of Portugal must pay IRS on income earned in Portuguese territory.

In other words, if you are resident in Portugal, the IRS is levied on all your income, including that obtained outside Portugal. If you are not a resident of Portugal, the IRS is levied only on your income obtained in Portuguese territory.

Since the IRS is a personal tax, it distinguishes the origin of income according to the source from which it originates: employment contract, self-employment, pension, capital investments, rents, and other sources, treating each of these sources independently – the IRS categories.

What are the IRS categories in Portugal?

IRS is levied on the annual value of income in the following categories:

Income from employment, i.e. all earnings from employment or public office.

Business and professional income derived from the exercising of any commercial or intellectual property activity.

Income from capital, such as interest, dividends, and other income from securities.

Property income, such as rent and other equivalent income.

Increases in assets that are not considered income from other categories: capital gains, indemnities, and other increases in assets.

Retirement, old age and invalidity pensions, and other similar income.

The law provides for specific deductions for each category, as well as deductions that take into account factors such as: 

  • your marital status;
  • dependants;
  • type of activity;
  • other aspects.

In this sense, this Portuguese tax cannot be calculated in the abstract, i.e. without a concrete and careful analysis.

How do you pay IRS in Portugal?

The IRS is paid through a tax substitution mechanism, provided for in Article 20 of the Portuguese General Tax Law.
Withholding tax is the tax substitution mechanism whereby employees have part of their income "withheld" and transferred to the Portuguese state, as if it were a monthly IRS payment.

The calculation of the monthly amount to be withheld is based on the income earned by the worker and varies according to factors such as their physical condition, family circumstances and location (mainland Portugal, Madeira, or the Azores).

Every year, an annual tax return – called “Declaração de IRS” – detailing the previous year's income must be submitted to the Tax Authority (AT). After it receives your tax return, the Tax Authority takes stock of the withholdings made throughout the year and compares them with the calculation of the amount of IRS to be paid. So, depending on the difference in values, you may be due a tax refund or have to pay an additional amount of IRS.

Married and common-law couples can choose to file their tax return jointly.

What are the IRS rates in Portugal?

In Portugal, there are three IRS tax tables: one for mainland Portugal, one for Madeira and one for the Azores.

Bracket Taxable Income (€) Normal Rate (%) Deduction (€)
Up to 7,703 13.25 0
Over 7,703 to 11,623 18 365,89
Over 11 623 to 16 472 23 947,04
Over 16 472 to 21 321 26 1441,14
Over 21 321 to 27 146 32.75 2880,47
Over 27 146 to 39 791 37 4034,17
Over 39 791 to 51 997 43,5 6620,43
Over 51 997 to 81 199 45 7400,21
Over 81 199 48 9836,45
Bracket Taxable Income (€) Normal Rate (%) Deduction (€)
Up to 7 479 10,15 10,150
Over 7 479 to 11 284 14,7 11,684
Over 11 284 to 15 992 18,55 13,706
Over 15 992 to 20 700 19,95 15,126
Over 20 700 to 26 355 29,75 18,264
Over 26 355 to 38 632 33,67 23,16
Over 38 632 to 50 483 42,20 27,629
Over 50 483 to 78 834 43,65 33,391
Over 78 834 47,52 -

Taxes in Portugal: TSU – Single Social Tax

The Single Social Tax (Taxa Social Única – TSU) is a tax in Portugal in the form of a compulsory contribution that funds the country's social security system. 

What is the TSU in Portugal?

Despite having the name “Taxa Social Única” (Single Social Tax), the TSU is a compulsory monthly tax levied on the gross salary of residents of Portugal who are employed or self-employed in Portugal.

Who pays TSU in Portugal?

TSU is paid by both employers and employees. The contribution is calculated as a percentage of your salary, and is divided into two rates:

  • The amount paid by the employer: 23.75% of your gross salary.
  • And the amount paid by the worker: 11% of your gross salary.

How is TSU paid in Portugal?

TSU is paid monthly. The employer is responsible for withholding the part corresponding to the employee's contribution directly from their salary and making the full payment to Social Security.

Taxes in Portugal: VAT in Portugal

Value Added Tax is a consumption tax in Portugal. It follows the laws of the VAT Code.

What is VAT?

It is an indirect tax that applies to goods and services provided at a price. 

Who pays VAT?

VAT is paid by end consumers when they buy goods or services in Portugal.

What are the VAT rates in Portugal?

There are three VAT rates in Portugal: 

  • Reduced rate: includes food and other essential goods:
  • Intermediate rate: includes food and beverage services;
  • Normal rate: most goods and services.

Different rates apply in mainland Portugal, the Autonomous Region of Madeira, and the Autonomous Region of the Azores.

VAT rates in Portugal – 2024

  Mainland Portugal Madeira Azores
Reduced rate  6% 5% 4%
Intermediate rate 13% 12% 9%
Normal Rate 23% 22% 18%

Taxes in Portugal: Property taxes 

There are two property taxes in Portugal:

  • IMI: paid annually if you own a property in Portugal
  • IMT: paid when you buy a property in Portugal

These taxes in Portugal follow the provisions of the IMI Code and the IMT Code, respectively.

What is IMI in Portugal?

IMI is a Municipal Property Tax. It is a direct tax levied on the taxable value of property (rustic, urban, or mixed buildings) located in Portugal.

IMI is payable by all owners of rural, urban, or mixed properties in Portugal

What is IMT?

IMT applies to the transfer, at cost, of property rights or partial rights applicable to property located in Portuguese territory.

IMT is paid when buying, selling, or exchanging a property in Portugal. Generally speaking, IMT is owed by the purchaser of the real estate property; however, there are specific rules for certain situations.

Other taxes in Portugal 

There are other taxes in Portugal that apply to specific tax situations and acts:

Stamp Duty (IS)

Stamp duty applies to a series of legal acts, contracts, documents, titles, paperwork, and other acts or legal situations that are listed in the General Stamp Duty Table. Given the diverse nature of the tax, it is necessary to consult the table in order to check whether a particular legal act is subject to this tax.

Vehicle taxes (ISV and IUC)

A Vehicle Tax (ISV) and a Single Circulation Tax (IUC) are levied on all vehicles registered in Portugal. ISV is paid when a vehicle is purchased, while IUC is paid annually.

Excise Duties

These are taxes levied on the selling price of certain products, such as tobacco (IT), alcohol (IABA), and fossil fuels (ISP). 

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