The end of the non-habitual residence (NHR) program has come as a surprise to many digital nomads and other immigrants preparing to move to Portugal. Some of them had already rented a house in Portugal, others had applied for their visas, and others had already received their visas and were having problems changing their tax residence with the Tax Authorities (Serviço de Finanças).
We are unsure how the tax authorities will deal with this topic in the coming year, especially considering that their directives are more restrictive than the law itself, following the example of Service Instructions n. 90052/2022 and 90053/ 2022 on the change of residence for foreigners who haven’t yet obtained a residence permit.
At this point, it’s important to have the assistance of professionals who can assist you in navigating through this turbulent period within the legal parameters, and also to support any future measures that may be taken to ensure your right to non-habitual residence status and the tax-free program.
Therefore, in accordance with the 2024 State Budget and the CIRS, we have prepared the following analysis of the legal situation of those who are in the focus of this turbulence and aim to clarify the current scenario.
According to the 2024 State Budget, the non-habitual resident regime will continue to apply from the date on which the beneficiary became resident in Portugal if:
1. The immigrant already has non-habitual resident status.
2. Until 31/12/2023, the person fulfils the conditions to be considered a resident in Portuguese territory for tax purposes. These are:
a) Those who have spent 183 days or more in the national territory in the 12 months beginning or ending the year concerned.
b) If you have stayed for a shorter period, you have a dwelling in conditions which indicate that you currently intend to keep and occupy it as your habitual residence.
c) In the above cases, the person becomes a resident from the first day the person is in Portuguese territory.
3. If you are unable to change your tax residence in 2023 and subsequently become a tax resident in 2024, you must provide evidence of one of the following situations and dates:
3.1 Until 31/12/2023:
a) a letter of commitment or contract of employment, a letter of commitment or a secondment agreement signed up to 31/12/2023 if the post is to be performed in the national territory.
b) Residence visa or residence permit valid until 31/12/2023.
c) Is in the process of applying for a residence visa or residence permit by 31.12.2023, proof of which is provided by
– Request for an appointment or actual appointment to submit an application for a residence visa or residence permit.
– Submission of an application for a residence visa or residence permit.
3.2 Until 10/10/2023:
– Lease or other agreement granting the use or possession of real estate in Portuguese territory, signed before 10/10/2023;
– Reservation or promissory contract for the purchase of a real estate in Portuguese territory signed before 10/10/2023;
– Enrolment or enrolment of dependents in an educational establishment located in Portuguese territory signed up to 10/10/2023;
4) Anyone who is a member of the household of the person who fulfils the above conditions is also eligible for the NHR scheme.
State Budget 2024 – Article 236(3)(a), (b), (c) and (d).
CIRS – Article 16(1)(a) and (b) and (3).