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Europe

Portugal

Tax


PORTUGAL: An Introduction to Portugal

Contributed by PLMJ, Law Firm Portugal offers a number of benefits that make it a destination of choice for leading global companies and industries:

• Strategic location
• Gateway to wider markets
• Highly developed infrastructure and communications
• Highly skilled workforce and flexible human resources
• Business friendly environment
• Top destination for global multinationals
• Competitive tax system

Portugal is located on Europe’s west coast and is a strategic platform for African and Portuguese-speaking countries, making it an effective gateway to wider markets. Portugal is an EU Member State and part of the Eurozone. As such it enjoys benefits including free trade, non-tariff barriers and free movement of labour and capital.

Portugal has highly developed infrastructure, logistics and communications networks offering excellent national and international accessibility.

Portugal is a business friendly environment. In this context it is worth mentioning the Golden Visa Programme, which gives non-EU individuals the chance to obtain a residence visa and full access to the EU.

The fourth of the above benefits is a highly talented workforce and adaptable HR. 42% of Portuguese people speak a second language.

Regarding business itself, most legal obligations are now complied using the Internet.

The Portuguese tax system is in line with the majority of its European counterparts and it follows most OECD guidelines, offering an extensive tax treaty network (67 in force; 7 new ones already closed and expected to enter into force).

At the domestic level, following the 2014 corporate income tax reform, the standard rate dropped to 21% (and will drop as far as 17% in 2016). Besides this, a very competitive participation exemption regime, a patent box regime, an extended tax loss carry forward period of 12 years and the possibility to tax depreciate goodwill arising from TOGC transactions are now being offered to investors. In addition to the corporate income tax changes, 2015 brought new tax reforms in personal income taxation and green taxation.

In addition to the amendments made to the corporate and individual tax regimes, significant amendments to the tax regime applicable to Portuguese Collective Investments Vehicles incorporated and operating in accordance with Portuguese law were implemented. It is also worth noting that Portuguese tax law offers attractive tax free exit solutions for the remittance of profits, investment income and capital gains under the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive, the EU Royalties & Interest Directive and other domestic rules exempting capital gains made on the transfer of securities. It also exempts investment income and capital gains from listed debt securities (under the special debt securities tax regime), provided that in all cases the beneficiaries are not domiciled in blacklisted jurisdictions and the beneficiaries are not directly or indirectly held by Portuguese residents above certain relevant percentages.

Also worth noting is the new tax regime for the Madeira Free Trade Zone. This regime is, applicable until 31 December 2027 to entities licensed before 31 December 2020 and allows licensed entities to be subject to a 5% corporate income tax rate provided certain conditions are met.

A special personal taxation framework has been established for non-habitual residents. This framework allows individual taxpayers who become Portuguese tax residents and have not been taxed as such in the previous 5 years to enjoy a reduced 23.5% rate on employment and self-employment income from high value added work done in Portugal, for a 10-year period. In certain cases, foreign-sourced income may also be tax exempt.

A range of tax incentives are also available for investment in business R&D, corporate restructuring and investment projects deemed to be of interest to the country’s economic development and the reduction of regional imbalances.

Finally, it is worth noting that Portugal has implemented a tax arbitration system designed to achieve a quicker resolution of any tax disputes that may arise.

Tax - Portugal

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Band 1 | Garrigues

第一等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 21 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Sizeable team with renowned expertise across the full gamut of transactional, regulatory and contentious tax matters. A popular choice for international banks and financial institutions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team handles everything in tax and has outstanding know-how in tax applied to capital markets issues."

"The lawyers are flexible and dedicated, which facilitates contact and provides us with good support."

Work highlights Advised Empark Aparcamientos y Servicios on tax implications of a EUR385 million high-yield debt offering including withholding tax and stamp duties.

Assisted GE Money with indirect and direct taxation issues arising from the EUR100 million closure and transfer of its portfolio from Portugal.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Fernando Castro Silva is an outstanding figure in the market and is unanimously considered "an expert" by peers.

Pedro Braz is a key member of the team and is praised by market commentators for his skill in tax litigation.

Significant clients Santander, Iberdrola, GE, GM, Mondelez.

第一等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Sophisticated tax practice across the firm's Lisbon, Porto and Madeira offices. Advising financial institutions, corporates and private clients on a range of matters such as international taxation, restructuring, VAT and litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The lawyers' technical preparation is remarkable and they show concern and consistency in the pursuit of the solutions that best represent our interests."

"The team is very knowledgeable of tax matters and presents solid arguments."

Work highlights Advised Caixa Geral de Depósitos on tax-efficient restructures of its insurance portfolio following the EUR1.2 billion sale and privatisation of its holding company Caixa Seguros e Saúde.

Represented a holding company of Esporão Winery in an arbitration regarding personal income tax.

Notable practitioners  

Francisco de Sousa da Câmara co-ordinates the Lisbon and Madeira teams and is praised by peers for his experience. He focuses on transfer pricing, securitisation and the taxation of financial products. 

António Lobo Xavier heads the tax practice in Porto. He specialises in double taxation treaties and corporate income tax.

Bruno Santiago impresses market commentators with his "fantastic" tax know-how and handles a variety of issues including tax litigation.

Significant clients Accenture, Amorim, Barclays Bank, Cofina, EDP - Energias de Portugal.

第二等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Noted for its bench strength and breadth of experience across the full range of contentious and transactional tax matters. Recently the team has been particularly sought after for corporate income tax, green taxation and non-habitual resident tax issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team is open to listen to our input and shows interest in the commercial background involved. The lawyers' technical knowledge is undeniable."

Work highlights Advised Herdade do Pinheiro on several tax claims regarding the application of indirect methods to assess the company's taxable result.

Acted for Eurimobe on challenging the tax authority's classification of real estate properties, a number of tax assessments amounting to a total of EUR24 million.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Miguel Teixeira de Abreu enjoys an outstanding reputation, with sources describing him as "a top tax lawyer who has been one of the best for many years."

Maria Dulce Soares is an active member of the team and clients point to her "availability and clarity" as key strengths.

Significant clients JJW/MBI, Visabeira, HDR - Hidro Eléctrica, Embraer, CEPSA.

第二等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well versed on domestic and cross-border tax mandates including corporate, financial and international taxation. Offers a range of transactional and contentious services to corporate and private clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The firm has considerable depth and the tax team covers many international aspects."

"The lawyers are always well informed and diligent." 

Notable practitioners  

Clients recognise practice head Diogo Ortigão Ramos' "tremendous experience and track record in tax."

Tânia de Almeida Ferreira is praised by a client as "a tough negotiator who defends the clients' interests."

Pedro Vidal Matos is singled out by interviewees for his skill in tax litigation. One source confirms: "He is very knowledgeable and passionate about tax law."

Significant clients BAT, Cork Supply Group, Scandinavian Tobacco Group, Sogepoc - Sociedade Gestora de Participações Sociais, Sugalidal.

Band 2 | Linklaters

第二等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 1 counsel
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Compact team praised for the quality of its advice and multi-jurisdictional expertise. Assists international finance institutions and domestic energy clients with contentious and transactional tax matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team really makes a difference: it covers all angles to present commercial solutions."

"The lawyers are available to answer every question we might have. They are excellent at a technical level and go beyond what is asked of them."

Work highlights Represented SECIL - Companhia Geral de Cal e Cimento in litigation proceedings related to the taxation of inbound dividends from investments in companies based in non-EU states that concluded agreements with the EU.

Represented Suzlon Energy in tax arbitration concerning a corporate income tax assessment by the Portuguese tax authorities.

Notable practitioners  

Clients and peers alike praise Rui Camacho Palma's skill and knowledge of tax law. One client says: "He is technically well prepared and very good at analysing problems and presenting timely solutions."

Clients appreciate Ricardo Reigada Pereira's "assertive answers and excellent solutions" as well as his ability to "understand the business and clients involved."

Significant clients Hanwha, Portucel, Glennmont Partners, ECS Capital, EDP - Energias de Portugal.

Band 2 | PLMJ, Law Firm

第二等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Multidisciplinary practice distributed throughout the firm's offices in Lisbon, Porto and Faro. Assists major players in the TMT, banking and retail sectors with domestic and cross-border tax issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We choose this firm for the most complex matters because of its excellence and capacity to bring several areas together in order to cover every aspect of a transaction. It gives the team a practical approach."

"A confident, experienced and business-oriented team." 

Work highlights Advised CTT - Correios de Portugal on all ongoing tax matters related to its EUR579 million IPO and privatisation proceedings.

Assisted Refriango with a cross-border group restructuring in Europe in order to consolidate operational shareholdings into a single multi-layer EU structure.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head João Magalhães Ramalho has acted on a number of significant deals such as the IPO of CTT. He specialises in international trade, foreign investment and social security.

Former Garrigues partner Miguel Reis recently joined the firm's Porto office, where he enjoys a considerable reputation for his tax know-how.

Market commentators praise Serena Cabrita Neto's skill in tax litigation.

Nuno da Cunha Barnabé is described by an interviewee as "hard-working and always ready to help. He makes himself available to clients and understands what their goals are."

Significant clients Eurofin, Capgemini, Future Healthcare, IKEA, Barclays Bank.

第二等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises an impressive international client base on tax issues arising from banking, M&A, restructuring and capital markets transactions. Also covers arbitration, litigation and wealth management.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"International firm delivering impeccable work." 

"The lawyers are very helpful and personable." 

Work highlights Represented Unilabs before a tax arbitration tribunal regarding corporate income tax assessments.

Represented an international financial services group in arbitration regarding stamp duty.

Notable practitioners  

Clients describe practice head Filipe Romão as "absolutely fantastic." He handles transactional tax matters and arbitration.

Senior associate Miguel Durham Agrellos is responsible for the Porto office's tax practice. He advises on international tax planning, real estate tax and litigation.

António Castro Caldas is an active member of the team and focuses on wealth management for private clients as well as corporate tax issues.

Tax litigator Claudia Reis Duarte is acclaimed by sources as "a promising lawyer." 

Significant clients Camargo Corrêa, CIMPOR, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Materis, Robbialac.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Noted for the quality of its advice, this team is particularly active in tax disputes and tax planning for private clients and corporates mainly in the aviation and energy sectors. Often advises on cross-border mandates through an association with DLA Piper.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The partners' involvement in the projects is remarkable and provides a lot of confidence."

"The team has specific knowledge of the aviation business, which is one of its greatest assets."

Work highlights Represented the Canada Pension Plan Board in 55 corporate tax claims against the Portuguese state.

Advised APREN on the legal framework regarding the property tax and VAT of wind farms.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head António Moura Portugal is described by clients as a "trusted business adviser," while peers acknowledge his extensive experience in tax.

Clients single out Nuno Azevedo Neves' "thinking and legal intuition" as some of his key strengths.

Significant clients Air France, KLM, Visteon Portugal, EGEO Group.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 1 other qualified lawyer

What the team is known for Boutique firm praised for its high level of partner attention and corporate and finance expertise. Compact tax department frequently advises on tax implications of transactions and handles other independent mandates such as structuring of financial instruments and litigation.

Notable practitioners  

António Rocha Mendes is noted among interviewees for his "solid tax practice" and "good skills in international tax."

Band 3 | CMS

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Dedicated practice advising on all tax issues arising from complex M&A and private equity transactions. Also focuses on VAT and litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team has solid technical knowledge and creates a good relationship with clients by adapting to their needs and translating legal matters into a business language."

Work highlights Successfully filed a claim before the tax arbitration court for Generis Farmacêutica in a tax dispute regarding VAT deduction.

Advised Barclays Capital and Caixa Banco de Investimento on the update of an EMTN programme for REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Patrick Dewerbe has extensive experience in cross-border corporate operations, structured finance and property taxation. Clients appreciate his ability to simplify matters.

Nuno Pena focuses on civil and commercial litigation and has considerable experience in contentious tax.

Significant clients VINCI Concessions, Explorer Investments, Discovery Fund, Credit Suisse, Neoen.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Distinguished tax and business boutique assisting high-profile domestic clients from a variety of sectors such as energy, transport and TMT. Highly skilled in tax litigation and cross-border mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team is truly specialised and knowledgeable of tax. It has the best references in the market and its support is excellent."

Notable practitioners  

Founding partner Rogério Fernandes Ferreira is considered "one of the best in Portugal; a first rate tax lawyer with great experience." Clients appreciate his involvement, saying: "We feel that our matters are in good hands."

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acclaimed boutique noted for its expertise and exclusive dedication to tax law. Frequently advises industrial groups and private companies on tax planning, restructuring and stamp duty.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The lawyers have profound knowledge of Portuguese law and European and worldwide tax trends. They always look for solutions that suit the client."

"A compact boutique capable of providing a personalised service."

Notable practitioners  

"First-class" tax specialist Ricardo da Palma Borges is praised by interviewees for his "good academic knowledge."

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Frequently draws on the firm's sophisticated corporate and financial transactions to advise on tax issues such as international taxation and VAT. Advises a client roster from a variety of sectors including TMT, energy and banking. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team has strong knowledge and opens up doors when doing business abroad due to its international network."

What's new? E Fund Management, Lince World Investments and REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais feature among the team's new client wins.

Work highlights Advised St. Galler Kantonalbank on tax implications of its Portuguese subsidiary's transfer of business from Hyposwiss Private Bank Genève, including VAT, stamp duty and corporate income tax.

Advised Parpública on the privatisation of CTT - Correios de Portugal through an IPO.

Notable practitioners  

Clients say Tiago Marreiros Moreira "has a broad knowledge of tax: he is always up to date with matters and is able to provide answers on the spot."

Tax managing associate Conceição Gamito is described as "an excellent professional" by an interviewee. She has experience in banking and financial structures as well as real estate projects.

Joaquim Pedro Lampreia handles domestic and cross-border transactions often involving Brazil. Clients single out his "proactive and solution-oriented approach."

Significant clients PT, Andrade Gutierrez Group, Deutsche Bank, Generg, McDonald's.

第四等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Tax is one of the core practice areas at this firm, encompassing advice to commercial, industrial and banking clients on a wide spectrum of transactional matters including tax restructuring and transfer pricing, as well as regulatory and contentious topics.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team is very dedicated to the client; it provides constant support and shows commitment to finding the best solutions."

Work highlights Advised Grupo CCM on tax issues arising from Oxy Capital's venture capital investment operation for the EUR150 million purchase of a 50% share of the group.

Advised Grupo Dosch on the tax implications regarding sales and purchase of products in Portugal and abroad.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Tiago Caiado Guerreiro is recognised by peers as a "knowledgeable and very visible" tax lawyer.

Significant clients Córum, Bobst Lyon, CNP BVP, Microsoft Angola, Olympus.

第四等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Compact practice acclaimed for its tax expertise. Notably experienced in advising companies on compliance matters such as tax refund and transfer pricing, and representing high net worth individuals in litigation regarding stamp duties.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The lawyers are very open-minded and quick in their responses." 

"The team analyses matters substantially and thoroughly."

Notable practitioners  

Practice head João Espanha continues to be a respected figure in the Portuguese tax market. Clients consider his work to be "of the highest quality."

Band 4 | SRS Advogados

第四等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Full-service tax practice providing expertise on financial products, securitisations and privatisations. In addition to its international roster of financial clients, the team has recently been advising private individuals on the non-habitual residency regime and property tax.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A multidisciplinary firm that provides full support." 

What's new? New clients for the team include Aon, Somague Group and Philip Morris.

Work highlights Represented Vodafone in a tax dispute regarding social security contributions and radio spectrum contributions to a total amount of EUR45 million.

Advised Europ Assistance Portugal on the EUR15.2 million restructuring of its vehicles for investing in South America.

Notable practitioners  

Managing associate José Pedroso de Melo is hailed by peers as "a truly excellent tax lawyer." He handles both transactional matters and litigation.

Consultant João Maricoto Monteiro focuses on tax crime. Clients say: "He has solid experience, knows what he's talking about and picks up on matters easily." 

Practice head Paula Rosado Pereira earns praise for her "vast knowledge of tax law."

Significant clients Galp Energia, Banque Privée Espírito Santo, Banco do Brasil, Copisa, ZON Optimus.

第五等 |

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Covers transactional tax and tax advice mainly in the financial and banking sectors. Notable track record in arbitration.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team is permanently available, extremely quick in its responses and always aims to find balanced solutions, which is important for us."

Work highlights Advised Medinfar on complex tax structures regarding its restructuring proceedings. 

Represented a financial institution of an international IT group in a dispute concerning VAT and corporate income tax.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Diogo Bernardo Monteiro has recently been active in corporate tax. He also frequently advises on high-profile Angolan tax matters.

Significant clients CGI, ENS, ERP, Exide, Celsa.

第五等 |

What the team is known for Team noted for its skill and dedication, covering transactional and contentious tax. Advises domestic and international clients with operations in Portugal and other lusophone countries.

Notable practitioners  

Consultant Leonor Xavier is a respected player in the market. She specialises in international taxation.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Tax-focused António Fernandes de Oliveira of AFDO-adv concentrates his practice on advisory work and arbitration. One satisfied client states: "He is a hard-working and profoundly knowledgeable lawyer," while another adds that when working with him "we know our matters will be in good hands."

António Gaio of António Frutuoso de Melo & Associados Sociedade De Advogados, RL is recognised by peers for his considerable experience in tax.

Gonçalo Leite de Campos recently left Sérvulo & Associados to set up Gonçalo Leite de Campos & Associados. Impressed clients say: "He has a lot of integrity. He thinks like an academic but then acts as a lawyer, which gives him an advantage amongst his peers."

Mário da Rosa Amaral of MGRA & Associados is described by a client as "a sharp and solution-oriented lawyer."

João Marques Pinto heads the tax department of Pedro Pinto, Bessa Monteiro, Reis, Branco, Alexandre Jardim & Associados - Sociedade de Advogados, RL, where he advises on tax issues related to restructurings and business set-ups. Clients affirm his "excellent background in taxation."

Clients say Rui Barreira of Rui Barreira, Magalhães Correia, Teresa Carregueiro e Gorjão Henriques provides a "specialised service in contentious tax," while peers confirm that "he is very popular for complex tax litigation matters and has an unshakeable reputation."

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.