Unfair Taxes in Portugal

Hello to all on Expat.Com

Why doesn't anybody complain here in Portugal?  It seems that everyone just takes what is dished up by the Government without making comments or asking questions.

For example, only the very large cities in Portugal (Lisbon, Setubal, Porto) have piped gas.  This means that anyone living elsewhere has to buy gas in bottles.  The gas I buy is to cook with.  For 2 bottles of Butane gas (small ones) I pay 47.15 Euros.  On top of that I have to pay 10.85 (23%) IVA. Not fair as I do not have the luxury of street/piped gas which is a lot cheaper.

The alternative is also expensive because our electricity bills also incur 23% tax.

AND why is there not an across the board IVA grocery tax?? ie same charge for all grocery items.  Example - how come we have to pay 23% tax on butter?

Not right now for obvious reasons, but why is our fuel quite a lot more expensive than in Spain? TAXES!

Doesn't anyone ever question the Govt here?

I agree taxes are so high in Portugal.

AuMargaret wrote:

Hello to all on Expat.Com

Hello

AuMargaret wrote:

Why doesn't anybody complain here in Portugal?  It seems that everyone just takes what is dished up by the Government without making comments or asking questions.

Because they're used to it. The UK does exactly the same thing, taxing like mad because they love wasting cash, but people are used to it so moan quietly then forget it because it's normal.

It isn't normal for you so you see what locals miss.

Is Australia any better? I hear their taxes are crazy.

The goods and services tax (GST) in Australia is a value added tax of 10% on most goods and services sales, with some exemptions (such as for certain food, healthcare and housing items) and concessions.

Groceries are all taxed (GST) at the same rate of 10%.  (The same tax applies if I buy an electrical appliance).

There is no tax on top of utility bills.

The bottled gas situation is the same all over the world; part of the reason is there an extensive UN testing regime that needs funding for the 2.5 yearly safety inspections of all the bottles required by the Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

You can get LPG much cheaper from a garage, the problem is that the gas pump doesn't fit the connector on the bottle, only car fittings.  A friend of mine got around it by having a car fitting put on his caravan, he takes his caravan to the garage and fills his bottles up from the pump - significantly cheaper and paid for the modification in just 2 fillings.

I dont think that is anything to do with the 23% tax charged on ALL utilities here in PT.

AuMargaret wrote:

I dont think that is anything to do with the 23% tax charged on ALL utilities here in PT.

Don't think I mention the 23% tax; you were moaning about the price of bottled gas, I was providing an explanation and a possible alternative that might save you money.

Do you read Portuguese newspapers or watch Portuguese TV?

There are protests all the time in Portuguese media, including by the various Portuguese political parties, on all social media channels as well as TV, podcasts, YouTube, and every social media channel.

There's the consumer advocacy website Deco Proteste, personal finance forums like Doutor Finanças, all the way to special interest groups which protest specific things and city protests for municipal issues.

But unless you're politically involved and understand Portuguese, all this stuff will go right over your head.

This was the outcome of the protest about IVA on utilities:

https://www.deco.proteste.pt/campanhas/bastam6/fechado

My suggestion to expats about these issues (of which I am one) is to join a protest and become a citizen so you can actually vote on these issues. Otherwise, it's just more hot air.

gailatlarge wrote:

My suggestion to expats about these issues (of which I am one) is to join a protest and become a citizen so you can actually vote on these issues. Otherwise, it's just more hot air.

Becoming a citizen allows expats the freedom to engage in local politics but, until then, I very strongly recommend expats stay well clear of local disputes.
Joining in has the potential to bring very large problems your way.

If someone doesn't understand what they're protesting, it doesn't matter where they're from.

But to discourage anyone from political participation just because they're not a citizen doesn't make any sense if you're truly involved in a matter that directly affects you. As long as you can defend your position and are aware of possible consequences, what would be the reason not to be active in your own community?

To clarify: I'm talking about being in a Portuguese community. I'm Filipino, I am fully aware that if I had the same attitude in the Philippines, there is very real danger to me.

Protests in Portugal are extremely peaceful. I've lived here nearly 7 years, including at the height of the economic crisis. Protests were peaceful while there were riots in Spain, Italy, and Greece.

AuMargaret,
the Portuguese themselves seem not to be the "complaining" type. Never experienced here.

As for gas and power prices, the only advice/solution to give there is:
solar power.
cheaper than wind and hybrid.
And if you live anywhere other than the far north, I reckon you'll get sufficient sunshine at your place too. Too much maybe.

Yes, fuel is VERY expensive here. All the more, when you come from the USA...

I'm recently retired and have been reading up international living run by Lief Simon and his Wife Kathleen. They always shows that low cost of living and safety is way low and affordable for $1700/mths.
they usually offer all this seminar via web for multiple countries enticing people to move.
Are they for real real????? or just sucking people in to pay and join the seminar and sort of financial investment, for real estate, mango,teak wood, fish farm and now truffles . any expat  have any input about their operations, their now base in Panama. any input will be appreciated. regards

Hi Gailat

Great to know kababayan  expat in Portugal , I'm in early stage of exploring retiring to portugal or spain. i've been reading a lot of articles from international living website, and article concerning healthcare , cost of living , residency  requirement. Specially from US retirees with income base on Social security benefits. They've been painting rosy pictures of affordability of all necessities needed services for older people on retirement. I've been researching via wikipedia and expat forum trying to get real info and idea of living in Portugal. Tavira seems to be more quieter and less touristy in Algarve region. If you have time , please sent me some advise of the real picture living in Portugal. my email is
[link moderated] , best regards ..salamat

What is fair ?

If its 10 kg bottles its surely cheaper than where i live in europe,

If you are not happy with the prices in the country you visit (remember you are only a guest in PT) , i guess you have to find another solution,,,,,, or go back home as that was apparantly better!

ALL involuntary tax is theft.
If state taxation is welcomed by anyone then it appears subservient to me by effectively accepting that The State knows how to spend your money better than you know yourself.
That said, collectivism appears to be big in Portugal.
I hear nationals complain constantly about the long hours, minimum wage levels and taxation.
Perhaps a bit too laid back and subservient to resist the ever increasing state theft - I mean tax take, sorry.

Thanks for your political advice. I’m sure the Portuguese people are grateful for the insights from an outsider. You have nothing at stake. You have not lived in PT. You have not raised your children here. You don’t know anything of the political situation except you believe the Portuguese are dupes. So, from complete ignorance, you give your sage advice. It makes me wonder why, if people here are dupes and the taxation is theft, why are you here? Is it because you are trying to get away from something else, maybe where you are from?

I am so grateful to live here. The country is beautiful, the people are warm and friendly.

Try living in Quebec, Canada, where taxes are some of the highest in the world!

Happy 2022

Happy 2022 everyone
What a way to start a new year
I have never understood people who move to a different country & then moan about it surely they must have done their research first.
We live in the algarve on pensions & compared to UK prices we live like kings over here, we have no regrets with our decision to move here been here 4yrs this month.
As for mains gas it is available in the algarve we know a lot of people who have mains gas.
We are on bottled gas we pay 30€ a bottle including Iva & it lasts us a good 2 months so 15€ a month bargain.
Electric do most of your heavy electric chores as in clothes washing in the cheap hours that what we do.
You can make things cheaper for yourselves if you are willing to research cheap electric hours among other things don't understand why people pay over the odds & then complain (moan) about it, only said person can make living in Portugal better for themselves nobody else can.
Again happy new year
Jean

Horses for courses.

If taxes and living costs are an issue, move to a county with lower both. I did - beats complaining. :)

Yes. This is why I live in Portugal too.
And most probably why I will also leave Portugal in a few years , post NHR.
All Tax is Theft  👍😃

Missed the point entirely.
Why so much negativity?


" Thanks for your political advice. I’m sure the Portuguese people are grateful for the insights from an outsider. You have nothing at stake. You have not lived in PT. You have not raised your children here. You don’t know anything of the political situation except you believe the Portuguese are dupes. So, from complete ignorance, you give your sage advice. It makes me wonder why, if people here are dupes and the taxation is theft, why are you here? Is it because you are trying to get away from something else, maybe where you are from? "

My old man back in Wales has a Gas Tank because its not connected to the mains. But he has Solar Panels which means all his electricity is free and has some money back that helps goes towards his gas.

As Fred says if taxes are your main concern and to high move to somewhere else where its cheaper.

Hallo everybody and happy and healthy 2022!
Motorboat: I like to buy a secondhand boat in Germany or China, and bring it here.
Can somebody tell me how much are /about) the Tax?
Thanks in advance,
CS

chrisschubert21 wrote:

Hallo everybody and happy and healthy 2022!
Motorboat: I like to buy a secondhand boat in Germany or China, and bring it here.
Can somebody tell me how much are /about) the Tax?
Thanks in advance,
CS

Why don't you start a new post instead of posting on someone else's? You will get a better response.

I agree that the full IVA in Portugal is very high even in an EU context. Energy is also expensive. But the advantage of IVA is that is can be somewhat avoided by reducing your consumption or knowing what items are taxed at a lower rate.

It is also possible to buy over the Internet from other EU countries. As far as I know the purchase is taxed in the country of origin.

Plus one should consider that many services in Portugal are very good value for money, which makes me feel very comfortable living in this country.

So the challenge then is there a legit way to tax planning in Portugal.
I know we have NHR potential but 10 years fly by
I am aware of the off-shore bond option but resent paying big fees to "advisors" to buy something for me I know I want!
Any other ideas to explore.
I don't mind paying tax just not more than I need to!
Thanks

Portugal also imposes a duty/tax on inbound shipments.  I had hearing aids repaired at no cost yet the gonernment wants 150.00 to received the aids.  The government claims the shipper listed the value as 2000,00, the reason for the tax.  I explained I had correspondence from the company advising no charge, the repair wad done under warranty.  My daughter sent me family photos of my grandchildren.   I advised customs the package only included photos with no value.  I had to pay 6,00 to clear the package.  Customs claimed the value was determined by the cost of postage paid.   Wow.  Portugal is scrambling for tax revenue.  The government officials should look at cutting overhead and operating costs.

Dan Plute wrote:

Portugal also imposes a duty/tax on inbound shipments.  I had hearing aids repaired at no cost yet the gonernment wants 150.00 to received the aids.

Where were they repaired?

Hmmm.  Grab tax from anywhere to pay for this Govt corruption!

AuMargaret wrote:

Hmmm.  Grab tax from anywhere to pay for this Govt corruption!

If anything comes from outside the EU as of 1st July 2021 custom charges are added. It is an EU law, it has nothing to do with individual countries.

In the USA at no cost

Choosing the country of residence isn't an easy task, but at least I have the privilege of being able to do so within some limitations. While I definitely don't like everything about any country I find that Portugal is a good choice for me at this time of my life.

So if I read some of the above comments then I thing "Why do they consider coming to Portugal? Whay don't they leave Portugal? Why do they go on about thing they are in no position to change?"

Portugal isn't for everybody, but it doesn't have to be. It is as it is. If anybody has found a way of receiving goods from the US in a more convenient way then I would like to know about this, but ...

EU custom charges:

EU website
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/b … ommerce_en

FEDEX
https://www.fedex.com/en-pt/eu-vat-changes.html

DHL
https://www.dhl-eucustoms.com/index.html

CTT - Portuguese Mail Services
https://www.ctt.pt/particulares/receber … alfandegar

Dan Plute wrote:

In the USA at no cost

You might have a case to claim back the charges because they weren't new, you had already bought them.

Maybe JohnnyPT can assist in the procedure in claiming the charges back?

Dan Plute wrote:

Portugal also imposes a duty/tax on inbound shipments.  I had hearing aids repaired at no cost yet the gonernment wants 150.00 to received the aids.  The government claims the shipper listed the value as 2000,00, the reason for the tax.  I explained I had correspondence from the company advising no charge, the repair wad done under warranty.  My daughter sent me family photos of my grandchildren.   I advised customs the package only included photos with no value.  I had to pay 6,00 to clear the package.  Customs claimed the value was determined by the cost of postage paid.   Wow.  Portugal is scrambling for tax revenue.  The government officials should look at cutting overhead and operating costs.

Customs rules and customs clearance costs:

https://www.cgd.pt/Site/Saldo-Positivo/ … uropa.aspx

This article is from 2019 and it still states that the received packages outside the EU, with a value equal or less than 22 eur are VAT exempt. As it is said above in posts #32 & #35 this is no longer valid since July 2021.

In your case, being hearing aids, let's assume it costs 2000 eur (including shipping costs):

Hearing aids = aparelhos para facilitar a audição

Fill in "Código Pautal" = 9021, then press "pesquisar"
https://pauta.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt/ … tacao.aspx

9021 00 00 00 = Artigos e aparelhos ortopédicos, incluindo as cintas e fundas médico-cirúrgicas e as muletas; talas, goteiras e outros artigos e aparelhos para fraturas; artigos e aparelhos de prótese; aparelhos para facilitar a audição dos surdos e outros aparelhos para compensar uma deficiência ou uma incapacidade, destinados a serem transportados à mão ou sobre as pessoas ou a serem implantados no organismo:  

Similar to code 8518 50 00 (2nd line of this PDF doc):
https://pauta.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt/ … uencia.pdf
(PDF doc)

Therefore:

TPT Rate = Duty rates applicable to third countries (including USA) for this equipment
                 = Customs Duties = 0%

IVA / VAT = 6% ( VAT for this type of equipment in Portugal)

Customs clearance fee = 10 eur (? value mentioned in PDF as applied in 2019)

2000 + 2000 x 0,06 + 10 = 2130 eur

As it is a repair service, your invoice value should not include the total value of the hearing aid... It was based on the cost of the whole equipment that you have paid this amount, and not based on repair costs...

_____

You can translate PDF into English using a Doctranslator, such as:
https://www.onlinedoctranslator.com

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