Tax advisors receive a torrent of consultations to bring fortunes to Portugal

Tax advisors receive a torrent of consultations to bring fortunes to Portugal

The agreement between Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias to launch the next government has unleashed an avalanche of consultations in the tax offices to bring the fortunes to Portugal. The millionaires are already studying their transfer to the neighboring country for fear of the fiscal axe of the new government. The Portuguese country, barely 300 kilometers from Madrid, offers a golden visa to foreigners who move their residence and enjoys legal security and political stability.

“Portugal is being viewed with very good eyes by people with high yields, because it has a luck of our Beckham Regime but with greater tax advantages,” explains the prosecutor Esaú Alarcón, a lawyer at Gibernau Asesores. “Basically, there are fewer conditions and they are 10 years of tax benefits, not six like here. If you add to that that the philosophy of life, cities and Portuguese food are similar to what we enjoy in Spain, then it seems quite natural,” explains Alarcón.

The prosecutors acknowledge that this week have received a flood of queries from their clients to move their residence to the neighboring country. “It has great attractions,” says Javier Gomez Taboada, partner of the Tax Area of Maio Legal in the Vigo office, a few miles from the border with Portugal. “It is a country that is close in every sense, with government stability and a friendly treatment with those people willing to take advantage of their golden visa regime,” he says.

In 2009, the Portuguese government, with the intention of attracting foreign investment and attracting qualified professionals, foreign pensioners and high net worth individuals to the country, created the Non-Habitual Residents Regime.

To benefit from this privileged treatment, the foreign citizen must prove that he has not been a tax resident in Portugal in the last 5 years and acquire tax residence in Portugal. The general Portuguese rule is that fiscal residence can be acquired by those who reside in the country more than 183 days per year or, with a shorter period of time, have a house available all year round that serves the Treasury to presume the intention to keep it and occupy it as their habitual residence.

“Spain should take good note,” says Gomez Taboada. “It does not do better homework that makes them faster, looking for a collection in record time, but makes them better that makes them thinking in the medium or long term, “he adds.

Danger in Spain
However, Alejandro del Campo, lawyer and tax advisor at DMS Consulting, calls for prudence in making this decision. He acknowledges that he has already received several consultations on this matter. “I always explain to my clients that they don’t have them all with them even if they live in Portugal for more than 183 days and get a tax residence certificate there,” he says. “The Spanish Treasury can consider them to be residents in Spain both because they live in Spain for more than 183 days and because they maintain the centre of economic interests in Spain, i.e. income from Spain or assets here, even though they do not live more than 183 days in Spain,” he adds.

Alejandro del Campo stresses the importance of “not having a house available in Spain, neither owned nor rented”. The prosecutor believes that “this can determine tax residence in Spain by the rules set out in the Double Taxation Conventions.

In any case, all prosecutors emphasize the “fear” of their clients. “To Portugal and elsewhere, many are already looking for where to retire,” says del Campo.

The Economist


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