Non Habitual Resident (NHR) Program in Portugal

Updated: 6 February 2024

The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) Portugal program is a tax regime that offers foreign residents and investors reduced tax rates and exemptions on some taxes. It was introduced in 2009 and updated in 2020.

The aim is to attract foreigners to Portugal. It proved to be very successful with more than 10.000 non-habitual residents enjoying benefits in Portugal.

Starting from January 1, 2024, individuals who become new tax residents will no longer be eligible to enroll in the NHR regime. However, individuals who were already enrolled in the NHR regime as of December 31, 2023, will be able to continue enjoying its benefits for the remaining duration of their 10-year eligibility period.

In this article, you’ll find information on how to become a Portugal Non Habitual resident and the following topics:

What Is NHR Tax Regime Program?

Why Apply for NHR Status Portugal: Advantages

The advantages of the NHR Program in Portugal include:

  • Income tax: special individual tax treatment on incomes for a period of 10 years
  • Tax Exemption on almost all foreign sources of income
  • Compared to other Portuguese income tax rates up to 48%, this program offers a 20% flat rate on certain Portuguese-source incomes (from qualifying professions and from self-employment)
  • Opportunity to have tax residency within the EU in a white-listed country
  • Exemption of tax on gifts or inheritance to family members
  • No wealth tax
  • Free cash remittance to Portugal

Eligibility: Who Can Be a Non Habitual Resident

Below are the NHR Portugal requirements:

  1. You must have the right to be a resident in Portugal by being an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen or via the Portugal Golden Visa Program, and
  2. You should not have been a Portuguese tax resident in the preceding five years

To establish a tax resident status in Portugal, you must hold a place of abode by the 31st of December of that year to show your intention that Portugal will be your habitual home.

It can be useful to buy a Portuguese property, but you don’t have to. A Portuguese rental contract of 12 months will be sufficient as proof of residency. If you decide to buy a property, you can show your purchase deed as proof of being a resident.

After holding a place of abode, you should apply to become a Portugal non habitual resident until the 31st of March of the next year.

NHR and Portugal Golden Visa

Individuals who have the right to be a resident in Portugal through the Golden Visa Program can apply for the Non-Habitual Resident program. Portugal Golden Visa program is a residency by investment program and grants you to live and work in Portugal.

Portugal Golden Visa
The Definitive Guide Read More >

Professions Regarded as High Added Value

Some professions are considered as a high added value to Portugal. These professions mainly have economic and cultural worth. So, individuals who practice one of the professions listed below are given generous tax exemptions:

General Managers Executive ManagersAdministrative Managers
Commercial ManagersProduction ManagersSpecialized Services Managers
Hospitality, Restaurant, Retail, and Other Services ManagersSpecialist Physicists, Mathematicians, Engineers, and related TechnologistsMedicine Doctors
Dentists and StomatologistsUniversity and Higher Education TeachersICT Technologists
Authors, Journalists, and LinguistsCreative and Performance ArtistsIntermediate level Science and Engineering Technicians and Professionals
ICT TechniciansMarket-oriented Farmers and qualified Agriculture and Animal Husbandry workersMarket-oriented Forestry, Fisheries, and Hunting qualified workers
Industry, Construction, and Handicraft qualified workersPlant and Machine Operators and Assembly Workers
Qualifying professions for those who want to become tax residents in Portugal after 1st January 2020

The professionals listed on the list above should hold at least a level 4 qualification under the European Qualifications Framework, or level 35 of the International Standard Classification of Education, or five years of duly proven professional experience.

Tax on Foreign Source Income

Under the NHR regime, most of the beneficiaries’ income from a foreign source is exempt from taxation in Portugal for ten consecutive years. It means that if the income is from an external source, that has a DTA (Double Taxation Agreement) with Portugal, then the income will not be subject to taxation in Portugal. 

  • DTA (Double Taxation Treatment): It is a treaty between two or more countries, mainly to avoid double taxation of income and property. It aims to divide the taxation between the contracting countries in the right way, avoid tax evasion, secure the taxpayers’ rights, and avoid differences. You can find the list of countries that have DTA with Portugal:
BulgariaCanadaCape Verde
Czech RepublicDenmarkEast-Timor
GreeceGuinea-BissauHong Kong
ItalyIvory CoastJapan
RomaniaRussiaSan Marino
São Tomé and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegal
South AfricaSouth KoreaSpain
TunisiaTurkeyUnited Arab Emirates
United States of AmericaUnited KingdomUkraine

Types of Foreign Source Income

Employment Income

Under the NHR Portugal regime, it is either exempt from tax, or it is taxed at a flat rate of 20% if it is not from one of the eligible professions.

Self-Employment Income

If it is from an eligible profession and it is from a country with a DTA (Double Taxation Agreement), it is tax-exempt. It can also be tax-exempt in the absence of a treaty under the OECD model tax convention (if the country is not a tax haven.) If it is not from one of the eligible professions, it is taxed at a standard progressive rate. It is also subject to social security contributions.

This type of income can also be taxed at a flat rate of 20%; however, the individual can pay the usual progressive tax if it is less than the flat rate.

Royalties and Income From Financial Assets

If the income comes from a country with a DTA, it is tax-exempt. It is also tax-exempt if it is from a country without a DTA but which isn’t a blacklisted tax haven. If the country is a blacklisted tax haven, then it is taxed at the rate of 28% or 35%.

Real Estate Income and Capital Gains

They are tax-exempt if:

  • They come from a country with a DTA; or
  • They come from a country without a DTA but which isn’t a blacklisted tax haven.

Capital Gains From the Disposal of Securities (shares, bonds, etc.)

If they are from a blacklisted tax haven, they will be taxed at an optional rate of 28%, or 35%.

Pension Income

If it comes from a country with a DTA, it is tax-exempt.

Tax on Portuguese Source Income

Employment Income

If it is not from the list of eligible professions, it is taxed at the standard progressive rate. However, if the employment is from the list of eligible professions, a 20% rate can be applied, or if the usual progressive rate is less, then the progressive rate can be used.

Self-employment Income

If it is not from the list of eligible professions, it is taxed at the normal progressive rate. However, if the employment is from the list of eligible professions, a 20% rate can be applied, or if the usual progressive rate is less, then the progressive rate can be applied.

Real Estate Income and Capital Gains

  • Rental income is taxed at the rate of 28% (optional rate) or otherwise at normal progressive rates.
  • Net capital gains are taxed at a rate of 50%, at the normal progressive rates.

Pension Income

It is taxed at the usual rates.

How To Apply for the NHR Portugal

Here’s our guide for you on how to become a non habitual resident in Portugal:

Step 1: Residency Proof

The first step is to prove that you have the legal right to reside in Portugal.

Citizens of EU/EEA/Switzerland can register without a visa. They can register for residency in their region’s city hall. They must bring their passport and EHIC Card for the procedure. They will be asked for their current address too, but they don’t need to prove that.

Non-EU citizens must first receive a residence permit so that they are allowed to settle in Portugal. They can obtain the permit in different ways, but the two most common methods are via the Golden Visa Program or Passive Income. They can do that either online (on the site “SEF”) or in their country’s Portuguese embassy.

Step 2: Getting a NIF Number (Portuguese Tax Identity Number)

A NIF number is a nine-digit, tax identity number necessary to obtain, especially if one intends to do business or other official or legal activities in Portugal. While non-residents can get it through their representative/lawyer in Portugal, residents in Portugal can directly do it in the finanças (local tax offices). To do it, you need an ID card/passport and proof of residency.

Step 3: Registering as a Tax Resident in Portugal

After you obtain your NIF, you must register as a tax resident in the finanças.

Step 4: Application for NHR

You must first register at the corresponding government website. To register, you will need a NIF number, email address, phone number, and fiscal address. Once registered, you will receive a password by post in around two weeks. You can then complete the application site. For that, you need to submit the below documents:

  • A document that states you were not a tax resident in Portugal in the preceding five years
  • The past five years’ tax returns
  • A rental agreement or a deed of a property in Portugal
Buying Property in Portugal:
The Ultimate Guide by Experts Click to Read >

The Portuguese DTA and The UK

Now that Brexit is in full force, the rights of UK citizens with residency in Portugal, are still protected as is.

Get Golden Visa: Who We Are and What We Do

Although you may apply for the NHR tax Portugal by yourself, it is a rather elaborate process.  Many people choose to get help from a professional in their application. We can gladly provide you with professional help.

We have a local office in Lisbon, Portugal with legal professionals and chartered real estate professionals on our team.

We work with clients from all around the world, interested in obtaining Portugal Golden Visas, applying for NHR in Portugal, or making real estate investments in Portugal.

Frequently Asked Questions About the NHR Regime

How can I follow the update of my application status?

If you have done your registration online, you can follow your application status on this website – Aceda aos Serviços Tributários – Consultar Pedido – Inscrição Residente Não Habitual.

For how long should I wait for my application result for NHR tax Portugal?

You will learn the result of your application within a few weeks.

When should I apply for the NHR Portugal 2022?

You must apply for it before the 31st of March of the tax year when you became a tax resident in Portugal.

Is there an inheritance tax if I get an NHR visa Portugal?

In Portugal; spouses, direct descendants, and ascendants are exempt from inheritance tax of any kind. For the others, there is a 10% stamp duty on Portuguese assets.

How can I calculate my tax according to my income?

You can check it from the updated Portuguese tax list below:

Income (€)Tax Rates (%)Band (€)Tax On Band (€)Cumulative Tax (€)
0 – 7,09114.57,0911,0281,028
7,092 – 10,700233,6088301,858
10,702 – 20,26128.59,5612,7254,583
20,262 – 25,000354,7381,6586,241
25,001 – 36,8563711,6554,38610,627
36,857 – 80,6404543,78319,70230,329
Over 80,64048

Is there a wealth tax in Portugal?

There is, but it is quite low and only affects the individuals who have a property at a value of more than €600,000 (for married couples and civil partners, it is €1.2 million).

How long can I benefit from the NHR regime?

You can benefit from it for 10 years; then you will be taxed in accordance with the standard IRS regime.

What will be my obligations as a non-habitual tax resident?

You have to file annual tax returns in Portugal, and the total worldwide income and expenses must be included in these returns.

Contact us and talk to one of our experienced team members to help you with any and all your questions.

What is NHR Portugal minimum stay?

To be eligible, you have to be a resident in the country and stay there for at least 183 days. You have the option of making it sequential or not.

What are NHR Portugal requirements?

There are two basic requirements to be eligible for Portugal NHR program:

  1. You have the right to be a resident in Portugal. This is possible for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens or for those who have obtained residency in the country through various schemes, such as Portugal Golden Visa Program.
  2. You’ve not been a tax resident in Portugal in the preceding five years.

Is NHR Portugal crypto available?

There is no separate NHR Portugal crypto program but crypto investors can apply to benefit from Portugal Non Habitual resident tax scheme if they’re ready to move their tax residency to Portugal.

Can I become eligible for Portugal non habitual resident tax scheme as a US citizen?

Yes, as long as you meet the other requirements, such as residency, you can be eligible for NHR status Portugal.

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