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Portugal has revealed plans to overhaul its popular Golden Visa programme in Lisbon and Oporto. In the future, applicants will only be accepted when real estate investments are made outside of the two principal urban centres. The main purpose behind the change is to attract fresh development capital to the interior provinces.
The extraordinary increase in lower pensions (between six and ten euros) will take effect one month after the OE2020 is given final approval. The one-off update will be 10 euros.
In the academic year 2020/2021, the maximum tuition charge will be limited to €697. In 2019, the highest tuition reinforcement was €871. This tuition drop corresponds to a 20% hike in support when compared to the previous school year fees.
The construction project for Lisbon’s projected Circular Metro line has been suspended in order to conduct technical and economic viability studies that will allow for a comparative assessment between an extension to Alcântara and the Circular Line .
An amendment to the tax regime for Non Habitual Residents (NHR) provides for the application of a 10% minimum tax on foreign pension income. Golden Visas are also limited to real estate investments in interior municipalities or in the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira.
Parliament has approved a proposal that guarantees tuition relief for those children in daycare who are most in need. Over 56,000 of Portugal’s most needy children will be eligible for this financial support.
In 2018, births in Portugal stood at 87,000 while citizenship concessions rose to nearly 128,000. To date, 2019 statistics continue to reflect the same proportion: net growth in Portuguese citizenship continues to be due largely to the naturalisation of foreign residents.
The value of tax benefits to non-habitual residents keeps growing according to the “Tribunal de Contas” (National Audit Office). In 2018, there were €548 million in NHR exemptions granted to foreign pensioners. Nevertheless, this apparent tax giveaway would have never existed if the NHR regime had not attracted these foreigners to Portugal in the first place. For example, these pensioners paid almost €80 million to the state in Individual Income Tax (“IRS “) on non-exempt income. In addition, there are IMT, IMI and VAT levies which the Government collects above and beyond the scope of the Non-Habitual Residency scheme.
In November of 2019, total investments from Residence Permits for Investment Activities (ARI) tallied €37 million, a decrease of 52% over the same month of 2018 (€77.1 million). Comparing to October, when new investments totalled €60 million, the decline was 38%. In November, 64 Golden Visas were issued, of which 61 were for property purchases and three for capital transfer. In the first 11 months of 2019, investments have totalled €698 million, down 6% from the same period a year earlier. By nationality, China continued to lead in the number of Golden Visas issued, followed by Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and Russia.