IRS Tax Return 2018: frequently asked questions

IRS Tax Return 2018: frequently asked questions

The IRS delivery time will begin in the 1st of April and will run until the end of June. So now it’s that time of the year, when we need to clarify some of the questions you may have concerning this important task.


In which form can I submit my IRS tax return in Portugal?

All IRS tax declarations are exclusively submitted on-line, so if you don’t have yet a password to access the tax portal, it’s important to request one per each tax payer. As the tax website is only in Portuguese this may be a difficult task if you don’t understand the language, ask your accountant to get this for you.


When do I need to submit my IRS tax return in Portugal?

All IRS tax returns independently of the type of income earned, need to be submitted from the 1st of April until the 30th of June.


What is the period covered in my Portuguese IRS tax return?

The tax year in Portugal is the same as the civil year, so you declare the income from 1st of January 2018, until 31st of December 2018.


 Who needs to fill an IRS tax return in Portugal?

All the tax residents and or the non-residents that earned income from Portuguese source need to submit the IRS tax return. The exceptions are for residents that have earned only salaries or pensions, from Portuguese source lower than 8.500€ per year, and when there wasn’t any tax deducted on source, and or in case they received alimony income up to 4.104€.


Do I fill a joint return with my partner or a single one each?

You may choose to do it either way, so it’s important to ask your accountant to simulate the two scenarios and see what is more advantageous to you.


What happens if I forget to file a return or do it incorrectly?

It’s important to be aware that the fines for non-compliance with the dates, can be very high. Fines can go from 37.50€ to 112,50€ for a delay of 30 days. However depending on the type of miss conduct, mainly fraud, fines go from 375€ to 22.500€.


I’m non-resident, do I need to submit a return?

First of all, are you sure that you are non-resident? Do you have a fiscal representative? If not, where do you receive your IMI council tax bills? If you receive them at your property in Portugal, then most likely you are resident for tax purposes in Portugal. If you are non-resident, then you will only submit a IRS return in Portugal, if you have income from Portuguese source (this includes property rental or property sale even if you haven’t made a capital gain).


I arrived in Portugal last year, do I need to submit a return?

In the first year of residency, you need to submit a tax return for the period you were in Portugal (from … to 31-12-2018). The same happens to all those that stopped being Portuguese residents in 2018, they need to submit a tax return from 01-01-2018 until the date they left.


What happens if I have to submit tax returns in more than one country and the information is not ready before the end of June?

If for any reason you don’t have all the information required to submit the tax return in Portugal by the end of June, you may submit a request in the tax portal, to allow you to submit the tax return until the end of December of the current year.


When do I need to pay my IRS?

After submitting your tax return the tax authorities will validate your declaration and you will receive a tax bill in the post, giving you 30 days to pay. Please note that if you intend to be away during the warmer months and don’t have a fiscal representative to receive your bills, you will incur in monthly interest charges and penalties, if paying out of date.



Some suggestions to make your IRS this year a stress-free task

We strongly advise our customers to prepare everything with time, in order to complete this process smoothly:

PASSWORD: Make sure you and your partner have a password to access the Tax Portal. If you do not have one, request a new one immediately;

COPY OF ID AND NIF: for you, your partner and any dependents you may have;

DECLARATIONS OF INCOME: gather the statements of income and withholding taxes;

BANK ACCOUNT:  your IBAN will be necessary to include on your IRS return and will make any tax refund much quicker.

CGT: if you have sold a property in 2018, make copies of the deeds (for purchase and for sale) and gather invoices for the real estate commission and home improvements. These can be deducted against any capital gain tax.

Remember if you have a resident status but your income was earned abroad, you have to deliver along with the tax return the ‘J’ Annex which discriminates the values received ​​abroad. There are taxation agreements in place between Portugal and several countries to avoid double taxation, so the impact this will have on your IRS will depend on several factors. If you are registered as a non-habitual resident, don’t forget you will need to fill in the Annex L and also include the IBAN information on all your bank accounts abroad.

And remember, we can assist you with all this bureaucracy, please feel free to book an appointment with us and avoid any late submission fines.