VAT in Portugal
Thread poster: Christopher Fitzsimons

Christopher Fitzsimons
Switzerland
Local time: 10:46
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Dec 29, 2010

Hello all,

I've now been registered as self-employed for a full fiscal year in Portugal and was told last year in the tax office when I registered that once I exceeded 10,000 Euros in any one fiscal year I would need to register to begin charging VAT the following January. So, I will have to do so in January 2011. I wanted to ask other translators who are resident in Portugal and who charge VAT about the rules regarding who we do and don't charge VAT to. All of my clients (except 1) are within the EU but none of my current clients are in Portugal. I have read conflicting information on this topic but have repeatedly read that I would only be required to charge VAT domestically and not internationally, meaning that, although I would be VAT registered, I wouldn't actually need to charge VAT to any of my clients (who are almost all in France and Belgium)... Or I could be completely wrong with this.... It can be so difficult to get a straight answer out of the people at Finanças! I will, of course, check this out and try to get a proper answer when I register for VAT but I'd just like to hear other people's experiences before I do so. Thanks in advance for your help and bom ano novo!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jose Ruivo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:46
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Only to nationals Dec 30, 2010

Hi Christopher,

you should charge VAT to your clients in Portugal, and not charge VAT to your company clients abroad; if some of your clients abroad in the EU are individuals, rather than companies, you should charge them VAT.

When you file your VAT declaration (every 3 months) you should - in a diferent declaration - also specify to which companies in the EU, with their VAT number, you did business with, and the amounts involved.

Don't forget that you can also claim back the VAT you pay for your professional expenses - a new computer, some software licence, ink/toner, electricity, etc.

Best,
José Ruivo


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Natalia Sarmento  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:46
English to French
+ ...
Registering as a self-employed in Portugal Dec 30, 2010

Hi José,

Would you please let me know the steps to be followed for registration as a self-employed in Portugal?

Thank you.
Happy New Year.

Natalia.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jose Ruivo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:46
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Go down to Finanças Dec 30, 2010

Hi Natalia,

You need to go to a Repartição das Finanças, and register. Take you basic ID documents - Bilhete de Identidade and Cartão de Contribuinte, or just your Cartão do Cidadão, if you already one.

You'll have to fill-in some forms - the people at Finanças can help you with that - and sign them. I'm not sure if you can do all that via Internet, but if you're not aquainted with the process I think you're better off going to Finanças and asking all your questions to a real life person in real-time.

Previously you'd need a small book of Recibos Verdes. Not anymore, as now you can - must ? - fill those via Internet. Again, the people at Finanças can point you in the right direction for that - I'm no longer familiar with the details, since I now do business as a company, no longer as self employed.

And that should be it. Let us know if you have any further doubts - the information given at Finanças can sometimes be confusing/conflicting, as the example of Christopher's case in this thread.

Next you need to register or correct your status at Segurança Social - every month you sould pay a certain percentage of your estimated monthly income. If you also work as employed, you might be exempt from paying as self-employed, but I'm not sure anymore as that seems to have changed recently

Information phone numbers: 707 206 707 for Finanças, 808 266 266 for Segurança Social.
In case you get conflicting informations, and wish to be on the safe side, I sugest you e-mail them your questions, and hold the replies as your basis for argument.

Bom ano novo!
José Ruivo


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christopher Fitzsimons
Switzerland
Local time: 10:46
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Dec 30, 2010

@José
Thanks very much for your help. This is what I had heard in the past.

@Natalia
You need to register with the tax authorities to get a tax number (NIF) and then register as self-employed before you start working. Their website is: http://www.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt

You also need to visit the social security offices and get a registration number there although you do not have to pay for the first year you are self-employed. Their website is:
http://www1.seg-social.pt/

I posted a query on the proz.com forums a little over a year ago as I was in the same boat as you then so you might find it useful to have a look at:
http://www.proz.com/forum/getting_established/142883-income_tax_and_vat_in_portugal.html

Boas entradas em 2011 para os dois!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Natalia Sarmento  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:46
English to French
+ ...
Obrigada. Dec 31, 2010

Muito obrigada José e Christopher.

Desejo-lhes um Bom Ano Novo.

Natalia.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jennifer Gordon Taylor  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:46
Czech to English
+ ...
Another related query about VAT in Portugal... Jan 20, 2011

I hope you don't mind me hijacking the thread, but I've just finished my first year as a VAT registered translator in Portugal. I have an accountant, but I don't really understand what she does. My partner is the one who deals with her as they are Portuguese. He doesn't understand at all, so I feel pretty lost a lot of the time!

All my translation work is done in the EU for companies, not in Portugal. I teach a little part time, and that VAT I don't include on the receipt so as to avoid nasty surprises. After each quarter, I've paid small amounts of VAT, as she calculated. Suddenly, after the end of this final quarter, she has told me I need to pay far, far more. She said something about it being due to the EU clients.

I have not been charging my EU company clients VAT as is the norm. Have I misunderstood something about how the VAT system works? Why should I be paying VAT if I've not charged any?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christopher Fitzsimons
Switzerland
Local time: 10:46
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
VAT Jan 24, 2011

@Jennifer

"I have an accountant, but I don't really understand what she does." I'm not surprised; this is generally how I feel about most bureaucracy (tax related or not) in Portugal. It can be incredibly opaque. Sometimes you wish the system could just be explained to you, as a foreigner who is used to a different system. Like you I work almost entirely for companies in the EU but none in Portugal so I am assuming that, although I will file the declarations and fill out the paperwork I won't actually need to charge VAT at all... And now that I've read what you have said I'm quite concerned! I would ask your accountant to explain in a much clearer and more transparent way exactly why you have to pay this amount now. That is her job, after all. And I would also ask about whether or not this will be the same every year. Let us know how you get on, I'm sorry I can't help you. Hopefully someone else will come along and enlighten us...

[Edited at 2011-01-24 11:59 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christopher Fitzsimons
Switzerland
Local time: 10:46
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Tradulinguas Tax Workshop Jan 25, 2011

Just thought that I would mention this as well. Tradulinguas, a Portuguese agency which also organises training and conferences for translators is providing a workshop specifically on tax issues for freelance translators living in Portugal. It's going to take place in Lisbon on the 12th of March and I'm thinking of attending. The person running it is an accountant and so it might be a good way to obtain focused taxation information for those of us (most of us?) who still have our doubts/feel generally rather confused about IRS/IVA and so on in Portugal. My partner attended their health industry translation conference a few years ago and found it to be very interesting so I'm hoping this workshop will be useful. If anyone is interested the link is:

http://www.tradulinguas.com/workshops-tradutores.html


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Natalia Sarmento  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:46
English to French
+ ...
Tradulinguas Tax Workshop - Lisbon Jan 29, 2011

Thank you very much Christopher for sharing.

I will attend.

Cheers.

Natalia.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jennifer Gordon Taylor  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:46
Czech to English
+ ...
Thanks Jan 29, 2011

Christopher, thank you for your input. I suddenly realised I'd not heard anything about this (not sure why I didn't get any email notifications) and came to check.

It actually turns out I was being quite dense and getting very confused. I've no idea what she meant about the EU thing still (I didn't speak to her directly anyway), but this particular VAT was nothing to do with EU work, and sadly I do owe it!

The workshop could be interesting, except my Portuguese isn't good enough for me to get much out of it.

But, once again, thank you for your response!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Natalia Sarmento  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:46
English to French
+ ...
Tradulinguas Newsletter Jan 30, 2011

Hello Jennifer,

To receive emails and news from Tradulinguas, subscribe to the Newsletter:

http://www.tradulinguas.com

Cheers.

Natalia


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

VAT in Portugal

Advanced search







BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search