Portugal – The New Eldorado
The last couple of years has witnessed Portugal emerging from a deep recession following the 2008 financial crisis. The socialist government has continued to execute the previous social democrats’ programmes aimed at attracting foreign investment and intellectual capital.
In particular, there are two incentives designed to attract foreign capital – the so-called Golden Visa programme and the Non Habitual Resident regime.
The Golden Visa scheme enables people from non-EU countries to become residents in Portugal (and thus have access to the Schengen area) provided they invest a minimum of 500,000 euro in real estate or 1 million euro in a financial investment or company. The conditions are minimal and have attracted thousands of applicants from countries such as China, Brazil, Russia, South Africa etc. Duncan MacGregor Accounting (DMA) can assist you and your clients in accessing the best lawyers to handle such applications, while we provide tax representation and compliance services to potential emigrants. The inflow of foreign cash has resulted in a buoyant property market, particularly in the Lisbon and Oporto areas, the country’s two principal cities. In turn investors have opted to rent out their properties either on a long-term let or the popular holiday rental market (eg AirBnb).
The Non Habitual Resident (NHR) regime aims to attract highly skilled persons and retired persons to come and settle here. The scheme envisages a 10-year tax holiday for certain types of income (low tax rate of 20% or total exemption in the case of pensions). Any person is eligible to qualify for the regime provided they have not been tax resident in Portugal in the preceding 5 years. This scheme has been particularly popular with Swedish and French retirees and has also been a factor fueling the demand for quality housing in the main metropolitan areas. DMA is very experienced in assisting clients obtain this NHR status.
Main Advantages In Portugal
There are also a number of other factors contributing to the country’s new-found prosperity:
- Very favourable climate
- Stable political situation
- Relatively low cost-of-living
- One of the most peaceful and secure places in the world
- Renowned culinary delights
- Within a couple of hours by air to other European capitals
- English widely spoken
- No wealth taxes and virtually no tax on inheritances
- Attractive sporting facilities (golf, surfing, sailing, etc.)
- Numerous historical sites
The country is also one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations, with the tourism industry enjoying robust growth in recent years due to security issues in other rival destinations (e.g. northern Africa, Turkey).
DMA offers a wide range of services to other potential investors, as well as boasting a comprehensive network of other service providers – lawyers, auditors, immigration agents, estate agents.