The legal regime has existed since 2009, however in 2013 there was a clarification of the tax law, which occurred through the State Budget Law, following a tax circular of August 3, 2012 (Circular No. 9/2012)
Portugal has thus become a more attractive country due to its taxation within the European Union. To take advantage of this benefit, the interested party must obtain the status of non habitual resident, under the terms of paragraphs 1 and 2, of article 16 of the IRS Code, fulfilling the following conditions: in the year in which he/she intends to obtain the tax status of habitual resident, he/she must obtain fiscal residence in Portugal.
That is, to reside in Portugal for more than 183 days per year, or to own real estate on December 31 of the respective year, which deduces that the stay in Portugal will be prolonged; on the other hand, in the five years prior to the transfer of residence to Portugal, not to have been fiscally resident in Portugal. The request to obtain this special tax status must be made when transferring residence to Portugal, or by March 31st of the following year.
When there are well-founded indications that the elements contained in this declaration are not true, the Tax Administration may request additional elements from the taxpayer (proof of residence abroad issued by any official entity, suitable documents that prove the existence of close personal and economic relations with another State during the relevant period).
Both retirees and professionals who exercise a valuable activity such as doctors, engineers, architects, psychologists and others, can benefit from a highly advantageous tax regime, if they obtain the status of Non Habitual Resident. They can benefit from a reduced IRS rate of only 20%.