Value Added Tax (VAT)

Value Added Tax (VAT)

As a general rule, the leasing of real estate under standard leases is VAT exempt.

However, taxpayers (landlords) that lease properties to other VAT taxable persons under standard leases may waive the exemption (typically to recover VAT in construction or renovation), provided that the latter use those properties for activities that are subject to VAT and are also granted the right to deduct VAT. In that case, the rents are subject to VAT at the standard rate (currently 23%), and no Stamp Duty is payable.

In shopping centre leases and services agreements (in this last case, to the extent certain requisites are met), rents are subject to VAT at the standard rate of 23%. Hotel and accommodation services (such as Short-Term Rental) are also subject to VAT at a reduced rate of 6%.

Stamp Duty

Standard lease agreements are subject to Stamp Duty (known in Portugal as “Imposto do Selo”) at a rate of 10%. Stamp Duty applies upon registration of the lease agreement with the Tax Authorities and is levied on the amount of one monthly rent.

Extraordinary contribution on short-term rental

From 2024 onwards, a new extraordinary contribution will apply on short-term rentals. The tax base will be determined by reference to indicators related to the average value of fees charged and the urban pressure of the area in which the local lodges are located. Short-term rental properties will be subject to the mentioned contribution, levied on the entity carrying out the exploitation (but is may also be charged to the owners of the relevant properties, should the first entity fail to comply with the applicable tax obligations). The contribution will be levied at the rate of 15%, upon submission of a specific tax declaration. The payment will be due by 20 June of the year following the taxable event (31 December).

Tax Benefits for Residential Leases

Affordable Leasing Program (“Programa de Arrendamento Acessível”) and Student Housing (“Alojamento Estudantil”)

Leasing income deriving from lease agreements subject to the Affordable Leasing Program or to the StudentHousing regime is exempt from Corporate and Personal Income Tax. The application of the income tax exemption depends on the compliance with specific requirements foreseen in the respective legal frameworks for affordable leasing and student housing.

Properties covered by the Affordable Lease Program

The following tax benefits are foreseen in connection with properties covered by the Affordable Lease Program:

  • Exemption from Municipal Property Transfer Tax (“MPTT”) applicable to the acquisition of land for construction for construction of urban buildings or units provided that (i) at least 70%, or the totality of the property, in case of full ownership or unit, is allocated to the Affordable Lease Program and (ii) the licensing proceeding is initiated within 2 years as from the acquisition date;
  • Exemption from MPPT and MPT for a period of 3 years (with the possibility of renewal for another 5 years) applicable to the acquisition and ownership of urban buildings or units acquired or built to be allocated to the Affordable Lease Program.

The tax exemptions will not be applicable if (i) the properties cease to be allocated to the Affordable Lease Program within 5 years from the date of the acquisition (or, in the case of a renewal of the benefit, within 10 years) (ii) the properties are not leased under the Affordable Lease Program, within 6 months as from the date of acquisition.

A reduced 6% Valued Added Tax (“VAT”) rate will be applicable to construction or rehabilitation works  for properties under the Affordable Lease Program, provided that at least at least 70%, or the totality of the property, in case of full ownership or unit, is allocated to the Affordable Lease Program, recognized by IHRU.

Conversion of Short-Term Leases into standard leases

Under Personal Income Tax rules, the termination of Short-Time Rental activities and the re-allocation of the real estate to passive holding may imply the immediate taxation of real estate latent capital gains (regardless of any disposal of property). The Personal Income Tax code was amended in 2020, allowing that latent gains remain untaxed if upon termination of the Short-Time Rental activities the real estate property is used for standard leasing activities (arrendamento).

Long-Term Leases

Application of PIT reduced rates to rental income deriving from residential lease agreements for permanent dwelling purposes with a term equal or higher than 5 years:

  • Lease agreements with a term equal or higher than 5 years and less than 10 years – 15%
  • Lease agreements with a term equal or higher than 10 years and less than 20 years – 10; 
  • Lease Agreements with a term higher than 20 years – 5%.

The above-mentioned reductions do not apply to rental income arising from residential lease agreements which entered into force as of January 1st 2023, if the monthly rent exceeds 50% of the general rent price limits depending on the council in which the property is located.

If the new residential lease agreements foresee a rent that is at least 5% lower than the rent of the previous residential lease agreement on the same property, an additional 5% reduction will apply.

Personal Income Tax (“PIT”) and Corporate Income Tax (“CIT”) exemption for rental income arising from properties transferred from Short-Term Rental t

A PIT and CIT exemption is applicable to rental income arising from leasing agreements for permanent dwelling purposes, provided that:

  • Such income is derived from a property which has been transferred from the local lodging to the residential lease;
  • The registration of the local lodging has been concluded until 31 December 2022;
  • The execution of the lease agreement and its registration before the PTA is concluded until 31 December 2024.

The PIT and CIT exemption will be applicable to rental income received until 31 December 2029.

Increase of Property Transfer Tax rate on Short-Term Rental

The aging coefficient – a relevant variable for the determination of the taxable value for MPT purposes – applicable to properties that are totally or partially allocated to local lodging establishments shall always be 1 (irrespective of the number of years that have elapsed since the date of the issuance of the use permit or the date of conclusion of the construction works). Before this amendment, the aging coefficient may be reduced up to 0.40, depending on the age of the property.