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Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

Old Sep 1st 2021, 6:53 pm
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Default Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

Hello,

In February 2020, I left Portugal after living there for 2 years back to the UK, where I am a citizen. I had residency status in Portugal, I was working and was paying my taxes there and was also part of the NHR scheme. I quit my job in Lisbon in September 2019 for some time off while still remaining in Portugal before I left in February 2020 back to the UK.

I completed my IRS for 2019 when my accountant contacted me in 2020. This went smoothly and I thought that was the last time I had to deal with Portugal.

However, the accountancy firm has been contacting contacted me saying I need to complete my IRS because I did not terminate my residency status. I did not realise I needed to do this? Do I actually need to do all of this? I've been living and working in the UK for over 36 months year. I have no source of income in Portugal nor any ties. To complete this I will have to pay 250 EUROS to the accountant and then 175 EUROS for them to become my fiscal representative. I am very reluctant in dealing with the Portuguese government system again, it is extremely slow and inefficient.

Their last email was this:
I would like to remind you that you are still a resident in Portugal and as such, you are obliged to comply with certain tax obligations.

It is necessary to change the address retroactively, how do you want to regularize the situation?

I fail to understand how anyone can live and work in Portugal and then decide they need to leave for whatever reason without informing the appropriate tax and fiscal authorities that are no longer living there. Does that mean for those people that were previously working in Portugal but then left on a whim are obliged to sort all this out and pay an extortionate fee?

Do I actually need to do this? What happens if I don't? How are they going to charge me any fines if I don't?

Last edited by throwawayaccount; Sep 1st 2021 at 7:08 pm.
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Old Sep 1st 2021, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

When you departed did you change your NIF address to a UK address?
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Old Sep 1st 2021, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

No I did not. I didn't think I needed to or rather, there was zero information for this. I guess I was naive in thinking I could just leave the country? Surely there are thousands of expats who leave the country without updating any of their details on a daily basis.

Last edited by throwawayaccount; Sep 1st 2021 at 7:24 pm.
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Old Sep 1st 2021, 7:36 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

See:
NHR 20% Flat Rate - Again
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Old Sep 2nd 2021, 9:44 am
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

You didn't even send an email to your Fiscal Rep. informing them of your decision to leave Portugal and revert to UK residency ?

If not, how were either they ( the Fiscal Rep. ) or the Portuguese tax authorities to become aware of your decision to change your residential and tax status ?

The fees quoted do not seem over the top to me for the work involved.
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Old Sep 2nd 2021, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

Originally Posted by throwawayaccount View Post
... there was zero information for this. ...
It's part of general Portuguese law that your fiscal address must be updated within 60 days of moving. Failure to comply leaves you liable to fines.
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Old Sep 2nd 2021, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

Please read the many posts I have made regarding this topic.
Just for your info. I was a tax resident and resident of Portugal from 2005 -2009 (as far as I knew) having sold my house in Portugal, paid all of the taxes due in Portugal,made a reinvestment in the UK. All of that including copies of the deeds of the new UK house were sent to my accountant for onward information for the PT tax office to confirm I had made the agreed reinvestment in Portugal.......I was told by my accountant that all was then in order.
My temp 5 year residency expired (as it does) in 2010.
I never had cause to look at nor think about the PT tax system after then.
Until 2016, when I bought a plot of land to build on.
On going to the local tax office (same one I had left 7 years earlier) to register the land with my name and my UK address (had all docs of council tax ,service bills etc), only to be told that I was a Tax resident of Portugal and had been since 2005 !!!!!!!
On checking my online account at AT, yes there it was.....a Portuguese address against my name..........only problem was not only was it NOT the address of the house I had sold and lived in......it was my old accountants SHOP address.
I explained that this was never my address and was my accountants SHOP (not house).........they refused to accept that and claimed that I was tax resident end of story.....

Armed with the docs of the UK house I had with me, they did then change my address to UK, but only starting from the day I was there ie Nov 2016.
Which meant that I could then not take out NHR as I had been considered to be a tax resident up until Oct 2016. !!!!
So anyone BE WARNED
And dont just take the word of your accountant.....she refused to discuss it with me when I asked her how she had made such a terrible mistake....my problem.
Make sure your address is altered against your NIF, as well as all of the contact details like phone, email etc....take nothing for granted.
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Old Sep 2nd 2021, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

Where are you a resident legally? Here or there?

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Old Sep 3rd 2021, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

Thank you everyone for your reply.

I decided to just bite the bullet and ask the accountancy firm to sort it out. I still don't understand what happens to the thousands of people that come in and out of the country to work and decide to leave for whatever reason without knowing they had to deal sort fiscal stuff out before leaving.

In reply to Sunseeker1st, I was a resident in Portugal, and I guess I still am even after being out of Portugal for more than 183 days. I am a citizen in the UK.

​​​​​​​Surely there are other people in the exact same situation as me that can help shed some advice?

Last edited by throwawayaccount; Sep 3rd 2021 at 1:17 pm.
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Old Sep 3rd 2021, 1:08 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

Originally Posted by wellinever View Post
Please read the many posts I have made regarding this topic.
Just for your info. I was a tax resident and resident of Portugal from 2005 -2009 (as far as I knew) having sold my house in Portugal, paid all of the taxes due in Portugal,made a reinvestment in the UK. All of that including copies of the deeds of the new UK house were sent to my accountant for onward information for the PT tax office to confirm I had made the agreed reinvestment in Portugal.......I was told by my accountant that all was then in order.
My temp 5 year residency expired (as it does) in 2010.
I never had cause to look at nor think about the PT tax system after then.
Until 2016, when I bought a plot of land to build on.
On going to the local tax office (same one I had left 7 years earlier) to register the land with my name and my UK address (had all docs of council tax ,service bills etc), only to be told that I was a Tax resident of Portugal and had been since 2005 !!!!!!!
On checking my online account at AT, yes there it was.....a Portuguese address against my name..........only problem was not only was it NOT the address of the house I had sold and lived in......it was my old accountants SHOP address.
I explained that this was never my address and was my accountants SHOP (not house).........they refused to accept that and claimed that I was tax resident end of story.....

Armed with the docs of the UK house I had with me, they did then change my address to UK, but only starting from the day I was there ie Nov 2016.
Which meant that I could then not take out NHR as I had been considered to be a tax resident up until Oct 2016. !!!!
So anyone BE WARNED
And dont just take the word of your accountant.....she refused to discuss it with me when I asked her how she had made such a terrible mistake....my problem.
Make sure your address is altered against your NIF, as well as all of the contact details like phone, email etc....take nothing for granted.
This is what I don't understand. I thought you are only legally a tax resident somewhere if you are in that country for 183 days or more. But you were in the UK for years and still was a tax resident in Portugal...

Last edited by throwawayaccount; Sep 3rd 2021 at 1:17 pm.
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Old Sep 3rd 2021, 1:28 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

Originally Posted by throwawayaccount View Post
This is what I don't understand. I thought you are only legally a tax resident somewhere if you are in that country for 183 days or more. But you were in the UK for years and still was a tax resident in Portugal...
I think it's because he hasn't changed address with financas when he left.
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Old Sep 3rd 2021, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

Originally Posted by throwawayaccount View Post
Thank you everyone for your reply.

I decided to just bite the bullet and ask the accountancy firm to sort it out. I still don't understand what happens to the thousands of people that come in and out of the country to work and decide to leave for whatever reason without knowing they had to deal sort fiscal stuff out before leaving.

In reply to Sunseeker1st, I was a resident in Portugal, and I guess I still am even after being out of Portugal for more than 183 days. I am a citizen in the UK.

Surely there are other people in the exact same situation as me that can help shed some advice?
Actually many people are aware of this, do their research and plan their move accordingly.
Uproot everything and moving to another country permanently is not a decision to be taken lightly, perhaps ok if you are young and carefree, but once you had job, have paid tax, own property, have family, kids and pets, it's all getting complicated. Even your driving license, bank account and mobile phone contract will be affected.
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Old Sep 3rd 2021, 1:41 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

I understand if you own property and have family there that's a whole different ballgame but all I had that tied me down was a job in Lisbon which I quit and a bank account.

Last edited by throwawayaccount; Sep 3rd 2021 at 1:43 pm.
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Old Sep 3rd 2021, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

Originally Posted by throwawayaccount View Post
This is what I don't understand. I thought you are only legally a tax resident somewhere if you are in that country for 183 days or more. But you were in the UK for years and still was a tax resident in Portugal...
With no passport control because of the Schengen area it's very difficult for authorities to know how much time someone spends in Portugal. So it seems they assume if your NIF address is local you're declaring that you are a tax resident...which I guess is not unreasonable.
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Old Sep 3rd 2021, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: Am I still a resident of Portugal and thus still have to do my IRS?

And of course as a Resident of Portugal (which has the tax situation implications) one has a certain degree of freedom of movement between countries within certain time limits, to be able to go on holiday, visit with relatives, even work short periods abroad, and be able to RETURN to your country of Residence without having lost your residency status. So if you potter off for a year or so, and do not officially declare yourself elsewhere, then Portugal will accept the fact that you will be coming back and that your residency status has not changed. Just because you have changed/lost/retired-from your job, this cannot mean that you are no longer resident - you really do need to clarify the situation....
Also - does the UK now know that you are "resident" there? As you are now employed in the UK and presumably paying taxes there, this may be taken into account when you now disclose to the PT tax authorities that you now are back in the UK. There is a Reciprocal arrangement between the two tax authorities.
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