Portugal

Corporate - Significant developments

Last reviewed - 03 January 2023

May 2023

Amendment to tax benefits, new tax regime for stock option plans and legal framework of startups and scaleups

Law 21/2023, of 25 May, amends the tax regime for research and development or SIFIDE II (see Corporate - Tax credits and incentives for details) and establishes a new tax regime for stock options (see Portugal Individual chapter and PwC Portugal Tax Flash for more details). 

The law also establishes the legal framework applicable to startupsscaleups and business angels.

Startup

A legal person that meets all the following requirements:

  1. Carries its activity for less than 10 years.
  2. Employs less than 250 workers.
  3. Whose annual turnover is of not more than EUR 50 million.
  4. Does not result from a transformation or demerger of a big company.
  5. Whose majority of the share capital is not held directly or indirectly by a big company.
  6. Has its head office or permanent representation in Portugal or at least 25 workers herein.
  7. Meets one of the following conditions:
    1. Is an innovative company with high growth potential, with innovative business model, products or services (as defined under the applicable legislation) or granted recognition by the competent authority in the field of R&D activities or certification of companies in the technological sector.
    2. Concluded at least one round of venture capital funded by an entity subject to the supervision of the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (or similar international entity) or through equity or quasi-equity instruments by certified business angels (real estate corporations are excluded).
    3. Received investment from the Portuguese promotion bank, or other related entities.

The qualification as Startup is subject to prior recognition by the competent authority.

Scaleups

Any legal person that, although not meeting the requirements in a), b) and c) above, but meeting all the remainder requirements, is eligible to obtain Tech Visa certification under the applicable legislation. The qualification as Scaleup is subject to prior recognition by the competent authority.

 

Business Angels

Any natural person that invests in Startups, contributing to strengthen their financial capacity and experience and knowledge of the market.

Any legal person that meets all of the following requirements:

  • Is held (majority ownership with management control) by a Business Angel who is a natural person.
  • Whose investment policy includes acquiring equity instruments and third party investments in companies with high growth potential, aiming at benefiting from the respective valuation.
  • Qualify as micro, small or medium companies (PME) and invest only in PME.
  • Whose capitalization is at least 15% made by a business angel.
  • Is legally incorporated and duly authorised to carry its activity in Portugal.

Amendments to tax benefits

Law 20/2023, of 17 May, published in the Official Gazette, amends several tax benefits, of which we highlight:

  • Patent box regime (see Corporate - Tax credits and incentives for details).
  • Tax Regime of the Incentive to the Capitalization of Companies (see Corporate - Tax credits and incentives for details).

January 2023 

2023 State Budget Law amends several tax laws

Following the publication of Law 24-D/2022, on 30 December 2022, the 2023 State Budget Law was approved. It is effective in general as from 1 January 2023. We highlight the following tax amendments (for more detail, access PwC Portugal's newsletter at https://www.pwc.pt/pt/pwcinforfisco/orcamento-estado/2023/pwc-newsletter-oe23-en.pdf):

  • Crypto assets: New tax framework for the purposes of personal income tax (PIT), corporate income tax (CIT) (concerning the simplified tax regime), stamp tax, and real estate transfer tax (IMT), as well as new reporting obligations.
  • Carryforward of tax losses: Allowed without time limitation for CIT purposes.
  • New incentive to the capitalizsation of companies: A CIT deduction is allowed against the taxable profit corresponding to an amount resulting from applying a rate of 4.5% to the net increase in eligible equity.
  • Real estate tax: General increase of rates for certain vacant buildings as well as buildings in ruins and degraded buildings.

December 2022

2023 State Budget Law published

Law 24-D/2022, of 30 December 2022, published in the Official Gazette, approves the 2023 State Budget Law. It is effective in general as from 1 January 2023. Further details will follow.

Windfall tax on energy and food distribution

Law 24-B/2022, of 30 December 2022, approves two temporary solidarity contributions, as follows:

  • 'CST Energia', a windfall tax aiming at facing high energy prices. It applies to taxpayers liable to CIT who are resident in Portugal, as well as permanent establishments (PEs) in Portugal of non-resident entities. Covered industry sectors are crude oil, natural gas, coal, and refinery.
  • 'CST Distribuição Alimentar', a windfall tax aiming at facing inflation. It applies to taxpayers liable to CIT who are resident in Portugal, as well as PEs in Portugal of non-resident entities. Exemptions apply, and micro and small companies are, in general, out of scope. Covered activities are food and retail.

Both contributions apply on the excessive profits generated in the tax years starting in 2022 and 2023. Excessive profits are defined as the increase by 20%, in each tax year concerned, with reference to the average taxable profits of the four tax years starting in 2018 to 2021. The applicable rate is 33%. Both contributions are self-assessed by the taxpayer by the 20th day of the 9th month following the end of the tax year concerned and paid by the last day of said month.

These contributions are disallowed as tax deductible costs for CIT purposes.

Extraordinary contribution for the conservation of forest resources

Decree-Law 88/2022, of 30 December 2022, approves the extraordinary contribution for the conservation of forestry resources. It applies to taxpayers subject to PIT or CIT that carry out a commercial, industrial, or agricultural activity in which they intensively use, incorporate, or transform forest resources.

The applicable rate is 0.2% of the turnover generated by said activities. Certain deductions are allowed. The contribution is self-assessed by the taxpayers through a standard form during the fifth month following the end of the tax year concerned. Payment is due by the fifth day following the term of the deadline for assessment.

The economic activities covered shall be defined on an annual basis.

October 2022

2023 State Budget Law proposal

On 10 October 2022, the government presented the 2023 State Budget Law proposal. Download PwC Portugal's newsletter for details on the proposal at https://www.pwc.pt/pt/pwcinforfisco/orcamento-estado/2023/pwc-newsletter-oe23-en.pdf.

June 2022

2022 State Budget Law published

Law 12/2022, of 27 June 2022, published in the Official Gazette, approves the 2022 State Budget. It is effective from 28 June 2022 onward; however, certain tax provisions are effective on different dates. Download PwC Portugal's newsletter for details on the budget at https://www.pwc.pt/pt/pwcinforfisco/orcamento-estado/2022/pwc-newsletter-oe22-en.pdf.

er Article 30 of the Convention.