What Are The Requirements to Join Portugal’s NHR Program?

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James Cave / Last Updated: February 1, 2023 / Posted in: QandA

For many people thinking about moving to Portugal, one of the big benefits is the NHR or non-habitual residency tax regime. This tax regime gives newcomers to Portugal (and in some cases, those returning to Portugal) the option of having certain types of income taxed under the NHR regime, which can be preferable to standard Portuguese tax rates.

Naturally, given how many people want to be able to take advantage of the NHR regime, many people want to know whether they will meet the requirements.

The good news is that there’s no minimum income requirement. “However,” according to Paula Santos from Tax Team Consulting, “you would need to have a minimum amount in order to qualify for residency, which is different.” The requirements also aren’t based on citizenship, which means that Portuguese citizens as well as foreigners can apply for NHR.

“It’s available to Portuguese people as well. The rule is that you must not have been a fiscal resident in the past five years. There is another program called Programa Regressar but that is only available to Portuguese returning home.”

The main requirements are based more on where you have been resident over the past 5 years rather than nationality or income levels. To be eligible for NHR, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You have become fiscal resident, or resident in Portugal for tax purposes
  • You haven’t been on the NHR scheme before (as it’s non-renewable)
  • You haven’t been resident in Portugal for tax purposes in the past five years

So if you haven’t been on the scheme before, and haven’t been tax resident in Portugal for the past 5 years, it’s likely that you will qualify. Another requirement is that you’re resident in Portugal for tax purposes. Santos says that this typically means spending 183 days or more in Portugal to be considered a fiscal representative but “it’s common for people to end up travelling a lot and, despite it being in the legislation, people aren’t typically chased for spending less than 183 days.”

Want to know more about NHR? Be sure to read this helpful article on the subject

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