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Crypto Assets in Portugal

By Ricardo Chaves

What you need to know about crypto assets in Portugal and what changes from January 2023

The Portuguese Government introduced in the 2023 State Budget proposal the taxation of cryptoassets (this exceeds the concept of cryptocurrencies), and short-term capital gains (up to one year) with cryptocurrency transactions will be taxed at 28%, but not all gains are liable to tax. Please find here what are the proposed changes for 2023 and how these may affect you.

Up until the end of 2023, what was the tax regime applicable to Crypto?

There was no tax regime and no specific law for crypto currencies until now, wich made Portugal one of the most crypto-friendly countries.

Do I have to declare to the Portuguese tax authorities, that I own cryptocurrencies?

No, there is no wealth tax in Portugal, therefore you will only need to report income received from cryptocurrencies or gains made for the sale of these assets. The State Budget proposal now considers mining operations, as a business activity and the gains obtained with the sale of crypto are taxable at 28%, providing the crypto was bought less than a year ago.

I made a profit from selling cryptocurrencies I bought less than a year ago. Do I have to declare?

If the State Budget proposal for 2023 is approved, you will have to report the sale operations when submitting your Personal Income Tax and the gain obtained (difference between the market value at the date of sale and the acquisition value, net of necessary expenses and effectively caried out, inherent to acquisition and disposal) will be liable to tax.

How and when do I have to declare?

The tax year in Portugal is from January 1st to December 31st and the tax submission is normally available between April 1st and June 30th. When submitting the tax return – to be done mandatory online – you will have to include the crypto assets sales operations you had in the previous tax year.

How much tax will I pay for the gains I made from selling cryptocurrencies?

If you held the cryptocurrencies for a period of less than 365 days, and if you made capital gains, you will be subject to tax rate of 28%. If you aggregate this income to your others source of income, you will be taxed at the progressive tax rates and the tax rate will be the one corresponding to your income bracket.

Can I be punished if I don’t submit the tax return or do not include this information on my tax return?

Yes, failure to report income and or earnings or failure to submit the tax return constitutes an administrative offense, subject to penalties. The amounts of the fine depend on the specific situation. If there is a voluntary regularization, the waiver or reduction of fines may apply, depending, among other factors, on the date on which the fault committed is regularized, as well as whether or not a report was raised, a report or complaint was received or initiated tax inspection procedure.

Compensatory interest (at an annual rate of 4%) will also be payable on the missing tax.

How does the tax authorities know about my crypto assets?

In the proposed state budget, there is now a reporting obligation by intermediaries. Thus anyone who provides custody and administration services of crypto-assets on behalf of third parties or manage one or more crypto-assets trading platforms, must notify the Portuguese Tax Authorities, up to at the end of January of each year, for each taxable person, through an official model, the operations carried out with their intervention, in relation to crypto assets.

What can I offset against my gains on the sale of crypto?

In the case of the sale of crypto assets, the gain liable to tax is made “by the difference between the sale value and the acquisition value”, net of the necessary and effectively incurred expenses, related to the acquisition and disposal. For this purpose, the sale value correponds to the market value of the crypto assets at the date of sale.

What happens to cryptocurrencies I bought more than a year ago?

Capital gains related to cryptocurrencies held for a period equal to or greater than 365 days will be exempt from tax.

I have two units of the same cryptocurrency purchased at different times: one more than a year ago and the other less than a year ago. I made a profit on selling one of them, but I don’t know which one. Do I have to declare profit?

The PIT Code provides for the application of the FIFO method (First In, First Out) in the calculation of capital gains obtained from the sale of securities, according to which the securities sold are those acquired the longest. This rule has not undergone any change in the proposed State Budget for 2023, in order to ensure its application to the calculation of gains obtained from the sale of crypto-assets that do not constitute securities.

The value of my cryptocurrency portfolio increased last year, but I haven’t made any transactions. Do I have to declare?

If you did not carry out any transaction in the previous year, it means that you did not have any capital gains from the sale of cryptocurrencies, so you will have nothing to declare to the Tax Authorities, since the PIT one taxes realized gains.

I do mining of cryptocurrencies. Do I have to declare it? Is this a gain or a business activity income?

Cryptocurrency mining is now considered a commercial/industrial activity covered by the IRS under category B (self employment). The income obtained from the exercise of this activity will be liable to the IRS, and the taxable income will be taxed at the progressive tax rates.

The rule contained in the State Budget proposal for 2023 is not clear concerning the coefficient to be applied under the simplified regime, but it seems to imply that the taxable gain will correspond to 15% of the income obtained from the activity.

I received cryptocurrencies from a friend. Do I have to declare too?

In the case of a free transmission (for exemple, a donation of cryptocurrencies) there is a 10% Stamp Duty fee. Tis is not an income, so it won’t be reported in the tax return, only whe it is sold.

I received cryptocurrencies as part of my salary, how is this taxed?

The cash equivalence of income in kind will now apply in situations where the income takes form of crypto asset. This means that in case the crypto is received as a payment, then it will be taxed under the income category rules (salary if it refers to salary, business income if it refers to business, etc). These assets will only be liable for capital gain tax if they are sold within less then a year and if there is a gain.

In case I use crypto-assets to buy a house, how does the IMT apply?

The value of the crypto-assets given in eschange (determined under the Stamp Duty Code) must be considered for the purposes of calculating the deed value and therefore the IMT – Property Transfer Tax, will be based on this value.

My income comes from my activity of buying and selling cryptocurrencies. How do I declare?

If this is a repeated and continued practice, then you need to report this to the tax authorities and register your business activity, declaring the income as a sole trader.

Can I offset losses?

If you made losses the negative balance calculated in each year, related to the sale of crypto assets, can be carried forward for the following five years, if you opt for the inclusion of this income in category G and chose aggregating this income to your other income, in order to be taxed at the progressive tax rates.

Do Crypto Assest Pay Stamp Duty?

The State Budget for 2023 proposes to tax “free transmission of crypto assets, when they are deposited in institutions in Portugal or, if they are not deposited, if the author is domiciled in Portugal, in the case of inheritance by death, or if the beneficiary is domiciled in Portugal, in the case of other free transmission”. Stamp Duty will be applicable at a rate of 10%, of free transmission of crypto-assets, understanding as crypto-assets any digital representation of value or rights that can be transferred or stored electronically, using distributed ledger or similar technology.

What are the rules for determining the taxable value of crypto assest for Stamp Duty purposes?

It is expected that the valuation will be determined in accordance with the official quotation value, if any and this will be the value declared by the inheritor/beneficiary.

How are legacy crypto assets taxed?

As the stamp suty will only apply to crypto assets in Portugal, there is tax on inheritances by death when the author of the transfer is resident in he country. In the case of donations, it applies if the beneficiary is also domiciled in the national territory. In both cases the rate will be 10%. As is happens currently with shares or securitiesm the withdrawal of crypto-assets that have been subject of a free transmission cannot be authorized, without the respective Stamp Duty having been paid.

When is crypto-assets considered to be located in national territory?

In what concerns to residency rules, the State Budget 2023 determines that crypto-assets deposited in institutions with headquarters, effective management or permanent establishment in the national territory are considered situated in Portugal, or, in the case of non-deposited crypto-assets, in sucessions upon death, when the author of the transmission is domiciled in national territory; in other free transmissions, when the beneficiary is domiciled in national territory.

Do commisions charged for providing cryptocurrency services (so-called intermediaries) pay stamp duty?

The State Budget for 2023 includes the taxation of Stamp Duty, at 4%, in comissions and fees charged by or with the intermediation of crypto-asset service providers. This means that CASPs (Crypto Asset Services Providers) will have to pay stamp duty at a rate of 4% on the transactions they intermediate and on the comissions they charge.

This means that CASPs domiciled in Portugal to will have to settle this tax. If the commisions are charged by service providers not domiciled in Portugal, this responsibility will fall on CASPs domiciled in the national territory that have intermediated the operations and on fiscal representatives who are mandatorily appointed in Portugal, if the operations have not had any intermediation in Portugal.

I bought NFT (non fungible token). Do these rules also apply?

Yes, an NFT is included in the definition of cryptocurrency provided for in the IRS code.

Do I also declare income with stacking (crypto interest)?

The proposed State Budget for 2023 did not establish any specific rule for this income, therefore this income will only be taxed if it results from business and professional income (taxed under category B – sole traders).

Brief overview of the asset in each country, type of taxation, and the applicable tax rate if, applicable.

Country Classification Type of tax Tax rate
Australia Property Progessive income tax
GST
19-45%
10%
Belarus Digital asset NA NA
Brazil Asset Capital gains tax 15%
Canada Asset Progressive income tax 15-33%
China Virtual commodity Progressive income tax (for international trading) 3-45%
Denmark Private money NA NA
France Property Capital gains tax 30-34%
Germany Private money Progressive income tax 0-45%
India Digital asset Progressive income tax
GST
0-30%
18%
Israel Digital asset Progressive income tax
VAT
10-50%
17%
Japan Property Progressive income tax
Consumption tax
5-45%
8%
Malta Commodity NA NA
Netherlands Asset Income tax 30%
Panama Digital asset NA NA
Portugal NA NA NA
Russia Digital asset Income tax 13%
Singapore Property NA NA
Slovenia Movable property NA NA
South Africa Intangible asset Progressive income tax 18-45%
South Korea Property Income tax
VAT
20.9%
7%
Sweden Digital asset Progressive income tax 0-57%
Switzerland Movable property Progressive wealth tax
Progressive income tax
0-0.67%
7-34%
Turkey Commodity Progressive income tax 15-35%
UAE NA NA NA
UK Private money or Asset Corporation tax
Progressive income tax
19%
0-45%
USa Property Capital gains
Progressive income tax
0-20%
10-37%
Source: https://3commas.io/blog/cryptocurrency-taxes-guide
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Anti-inflation measures and how this will affect rentals in 2023

The Portuguese Government has launched an anti-inflation package and new rules will be applicable to the taxation of long term rentals in 2023, as a compensation for the limited established on the annual rent increases.

How much was the inflation in Portugal in September?

The Portuguese Statistics Institute (INE) has stated that the inflation in September 2022 will be 9.3%. This is an increase of 0.4% compared with August 2022 and is the highest inflation rate since October 1992. In the Eurozone the average inflation is currently 10%.

How much and when are the house rents updated?

As a rule, rents are updated annually, although there are cases in which this increase may not occur. It happens, for example, if there is an agreement between the tenant and the owner, which determines that there is no room for an increase. Even so, for leases after 1990, the most common is that this update is made every year and reflects the income update coefficient, whose value is defined by the Government based on the value of inflation. This coefficient is normally published in October each year.

What is the coefficient for 2023?

If the government would consider the inflation rate as of August 2022, like normally happens, the annual increase would be 5.43%. However, the Portuguese Government has established a limit of 2%, as a way of fighting inflation. This increase is applicable for both type of contracts: habitation and commercial.

How and when the rent increase come into effect?

If the rental contract allows for yearly rental updates, the landlord must inform the tenant by registered letter of the intention to increase the rent. This should be done after the publication of the law, which normally occurs each year in October and needs to be done with a minimum of 30 days’ notice. The new rent should start in January.

The first rent update should only be done after 1 year of contract.

The Government will create a tax relief, to compensate landlords for the low rent increase.

The Portuguese Government has informed that will publish a law to compensate the landlords. This compensation is only valid for contracts prior to 01-01-2022 and it means that for individual taxpayers, who normally are taxed at the rate of 28%, the taxable rental income will be 91%, instead of 100%.

This means that if you have a net rental income of 10.000€ in 2022 and the tax is 28%,this equates to 2.800€. The same rental income in 2023, will generate a tax bill of 2.548€. Obviously as this will only be effective in 2023, the tax is only submitted and paid in 2024.

Please note that this applies to long term rental contracts (category F) and not to touristic lettings which are a service and reported under category B.

What about the rental income received by companies?

This law will also benefit companies and in this case the coefficient to calculate the tax will be 0.87.

How can landlords save tax on rental income?

If you are a landlord with rental income from category F, please be aware that the longer the contract, the lower the tax rate applicable to your net income and this is not new. What is new is that the government will include in this law reductions to the taxable income and these reductions will increase with the length of the contract, as per the image below:

Term of the contract Tax Rate Taxable income
Up tp 2 years 28% 91%
From 2 to 5 years 26% 90%
From 5 to 10 years 23% 89%
From 10 to 20 years 14% 79%
More than 20 years 10% 70%

This law that was proposed by the government will also include these new coefficients for contract renewals. For instance, a contract of 2 years when it’s renewed, will benefit from the tax at 24% and only 89% of the net rental income will be taxed.

Please feel free to send any tax questions you may have to info@allfinance.pt.

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