NHR Portugal – A Guide to Portugal’s Non-Habitual Tax Regime

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Originally published in Feb 2021 & last updated on November 20, 2023
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Established in 2009, NHR, Portugal’s non-habitual residency tax regime, is something that has gained a lot of international excitement and attention. As of late 2023, there is talk that the Portuguese government is thinking of ending it. In the meantime, however, qualifying residents can still take advantage of it.

Who’s eligible: 

To be eligible, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You have become fiscal resident, or resident in Portugal for tax purposes.

Registering for NHR

The NHR application must be submitted after the registration as a tax resident in Portugal and until the 31st of March (inclusive) of the year after you became resident in the Portuguese territory.

In practice this means:

  • If you arrive on the 1st of April until the 31st of December, you have until March 31st of the following year to register
  • If you arrive between the 1st of January and the 31st of March, you have until the 31st of March the following year to register

Although registration is important, it isn’t until the annual tax return is submitted that the tax office sees that you want to be taxed under the NHR system. This is when the tax office will contact the individual and, in the case of someone with a high-value activity, request a contract or qualification that proves you are engaging in this high-value activity [source].

Sample Rates

The following are some of the sample rates based on a recent Portugalist webinar [source]. Please note: these are examples and may not apply to your situation. As noted in the webinar, these rates apply for 10 years. After this point, you would move onto normal Portuguese tax rates, which range from 14.5% – 48% [source].


As of March 2020, pensions are now taxed at a flat-rate of 10% under the NHR scheme [source]. It may be exempt from Portuguese taxes if taxed at source [source]. Pensioners may also choose to be taxed under normal Portuguese tax rates which, due to the small annual tax-free allowance, may work out more beneficial in some instances. You should speak to an accountant who can estimate how you would be taxed under both tax systems.

Employees in Portugal

High-value activity professionals can benefit from a 20% flat rate of tax [source] (+ social security) which, depending on how much you’re earning, may be better than the standard Portuguese rates of tax. 

Portugal has a unique list of activities that it considers high value, and this gets changed every few years. Example professions that have made the list in recent years include journalists, dentists, IT professionals, linguists, general managers and executive managers of companies, hotel managers, jewellers, and electricians.  

Freelancers/Self Employed 

Like employees, freelancers and the self-employed need to fall into the high value activity category to benefit from NHR [source]. If that’s the case, you would normally be subject to 20% + social security [source] if no taxes are paid at source or exempt if tax paid at source [source].

A 20% flat-rate may or may not be more advantageous than where you’re currently paying your taxes. It also may or may not be more advantageous than normal Portuguese tax rates. If your income isn’t that high, the normal tax rates may be more beneficial due to the tax-free allowance and the tax credits that are available in Portugal [source]. Speak to an accountant to get an estimation for both rates so that you can work out what’s best for you.

Entrepreneurs – 20% 

Generally speaking, most entrepreneurs (those that own a company) end up paying 20% + social security if they choose to be taxed under NHR.

High-Value Activities

According to Newco, as of January 1st 2020, the following high-value activities qualify for NHR:

112 – The general director or executive manager of a company
12 – Directors of administrative and commercial services
13 – Directors of production and specialised services
14 – Directors of hotels, restaurants, commercial, or other services
21 – Specialists working in physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, and similar technical fields
221 – Physicians
2261 – Dentists and stomatologists
231 – Teachers at universities and higher learning establishments
25 – Specialists in information and communication technologies (ICT)
264 – Authors, journalists, and linguists
265 – Creative artists and performing artists
31 – Intermediate level science and engineering technicians and professionals
35 – Information and communication technologies technicians
61 – Market-oriented farmers and qualified agricultural and livestock workers
62 – Market-oriented qualified forestry, fisheries and hunting workers
7 – Qualified industrial, construction workers and craftsmen, including qualified workers in the fields of metallurgy, metalworking, food processing, wood manufacturing, clothing production, handicrafts, printing, manufacture of precision instruments, jewellers, artisans, electricity and electronics workers
8 – Operators of installations and machines and assembly workers, namely fixed installations and machine operators

Other types of income


Income from interest is tax-exempt if the income could be taxed abroad under Double Tax Agreement rules [source].


Income from dividends is tax-exempt if the income could be taxed abroad under Double Tax Agreement rules [source].

Rental income

Income from long-term rentals abroad is tax-exempt if the income could be taxed abroad under Double Tax Agreement rules [source].


Are there tax obligations once I’ve obtained NHR status?

You will need to submit, in Portugal, an annual tax return (IRS) in the following year, between April and June, declaring worldwide income and expenses [source].

Do you need a minimum income amount to qualify for NHR?

No. However, you would need to have a minimum amount in order to qualify for residency, which is different.

Is becoming a resident and becoming a fiscal resident the same thing?

They’re separate. Obtaining residency is one thing (e.g. a certificate from the local council for EU or residency through AIMA for non-EU). After you have residency, you can register for fiscal residency with the tax authority [source].

If a pension is taxed in the USA, will it still be taxed in Portugal at 10%?

No, because there is a double taxation treaty between Portugal and the US. Portugal doesn’t have this with all countries. For example, Portugal does not have a double taxation treaty with Australia. If someone already pays taxes in Australia they would still have to pay taxes in Portugal.

What about capital gains?

Let’s say you have a property in Canada that you sell. That property is only subject to taxes in Canada. Stocks, on the other hand, will be taxed on the gain in Portugal at 28%[source].

If my employment status changes during the 10 years, does the 10-year period start again?

No. It’s 10 consecutive years, and NHR will always count from the first fiscal year in Portugal. You should always apply when you arrive as, even if you don’t benefit from NHR in the first year, a lot can happen in 10 years and you may benefit from NHR in the future.

If I moved to Portugal in September (and was accepted for NHR) do the NHR benefits count immediately or does it start from the following March.

The NHR benefits start from the fiscal year in which you become resident. If you arrive in September, and if you become fiscal resident in September, the first fiscal year will be from September to December 31st (as the Portuguese tax year runs from January 1st – December 31st)[source].

Is there a minimum amount of time that you need to stay in Portugal to continue to qualify for NHR?

According to the legislation, it’s 183 days that you need to be fiscal resident. However, 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 [source].

If I’m applying for the golden visa program, should I apply for NHR at the same time?

You would apply after you’ve become resident [source].

What happens to tax-free savings accounts?

Portugal will only tax when the sale takes place. If you keep growing the investment, it will not be taxed. Only on the gain [source].

If you’re self-employed and qualify for NHR, does income from services provided to Portuguese clients qualify?

Yes. Portuguese or international clients [source].

If my profession is listed as a high-value activity and I register for NHR but the list of high-valued activities changes in future years, will I still get my full 10 years?

Yes [source].

Is NHR only available to non-Portuguese people?

No. 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 [source].

If someone comes from less than 183 days (say 3-4 months) are they considered a tax resident in Portugal?

No. They are still considered tourists because they are a tax resident somewhere else [source].

Are medical insurance contributions tax-deductible?

If income is declared under NHR, there are no tax credits and medical insurance won’t be considered a tax credit. It’s possible that some income will qualify for NHR, or be declared under NHR, and some won’t, and you could use your tax credits with the income that’s not being declared under the NHR system [source].

Do you get the same NHR benefits if your income comes from a Portuguese company rather than a non-Portuguese company?

As long as it’s a high-value activity and the contract between the company and individual mentions the specific activity. For self-employed people, the contract can be used to show the high-value activity or you can also show the qualification the individual has.

Watch the NHR webinar with Paula Santos from TaxTeam Consulting which was used as the basis for this article.

Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

You can contact James by emailing james@portugalist.com or via the site's contact form.

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There are 96 comments on this article. Join the conversation and add your own thoughts, reviews, and stories of life in Portugal. However, please remember to be civil.


  1. Great article !
    When I return to Portugal as NHR do I pay 10 % taxes on my 401 k from the United States after paying federal 37 % ?
    Thank you

  2. Hi James,

    Thanks for this clear and understandable information.

    Can NHR be suspended for a tax year? For context I’m thinking of a scenario where I was a tax resident on NHR in Portugal for a year or so, but then needed to return to the U.K. for an extended period (say 1 year) before returning back to Portugal permanently. The year back in the U.K. would seem to be a waste of 1 year of NHR…

    I have dual citizenship btw (U.K. & PT).

    Thanks, Andy

  3. Hi, thank you for all this information.
    sadly we missed our application for submission to NHR.
    my partner was registered as a resident but we didn’t lived in Portugal for a year so we didn’t thought about applying to NHR.
    is there something we can do to apply for NHR?
    we have all the approves that we didn’t lived in Portugal a year before.
    If you have a recommendation for an accountant that can help us please send his contact to me.

  4. Hi James,
    Useful website. I am considering relocating to Portugal and looking for a financial advisor. I would appreciate if you could pass on my details. Thanks in advance.

  5. Hi James – are you able to start & stop during the 10 years of nhr? My husband has been living in Portugal for 3 years in nhr but we need to know where he stands if he moves back to the uk for a year or 2? Many thanks

  6. Hi James, can you recommend good and reliable accoountants (maybe even some personal experiences)?

    If I go for NHR, I’d also have to move my online business (sole proprietorship) to Portugal. Would need someone who could help setting it up and and do te accounting and taxes.

  7. Just so you’re aware this is not a residency visa. I thought it was. My lawyer asked whether I wanted to apply for the D7 and I said no I want to apply for the NHR residency visa. Took him a long time to explain to me it’s not a residency visa.

  8. I’m comparing this to the UK to see which is better. As a developer I would pay 20% flat rate + 11% social security (as an employee). If I was a freelancer the rate would be 21.4% (as far as I can figure out).

    Employee: 31%
    Freelancer/Self Employed: 41.4%

    The UK’s national insurance is around 13.25% (thanks Tories!) so 33.25% for a basic rate tax payer. However there’s a big tax free allowance in the UK and it seems to me that I wouldn’t get this with NHR. So If I earned 30,000, I would be better of earning that in the UK than Portugal, as an employee. It does get more worthwhile to be in Portugal if you’re a higher rate tax payer in the UK (40%) which starts at around £50,000.

    Take-home pay

    UK = £37465
    Portugal= £34500

    UK = 51680
    Portugal = 51570

    UK = 65867
    Portugal = 69000

  9. Hey James, can you let me know if the rental contract must be registered in Finanças portal for it be used in the NHR application?

  10. Very thorough article!

    Does anyone know if both members of a couple get NHR of one qualify? My wife would qualify with a lower salary while I wouldn’t (at least at first sight when looking at the list) on a higher one. She has the more interesting job though (jewelry designer)!

    Thanks a lot!

  11. Can one purchase more than one property (e.g. two condos) totalling more than Euros 500K in say Albufeira and still qualify for Portugal NHR residency, as opposed to buying one property that is > Euros 500K ?

  12. Hello James,

    Thank you very much for writing this article.
    I’m a Portuguese citizen working in Finland (EU member country) since 2015 and now I’m planning to come back home but continuing to work remotely to my current employer (Finnish company without branch in Portugal).
    Under the NHR regime, would I be paying income tax in Portugal or Finland?
    Thank you in advance.

  13. Hi James,

    Thank you for the very useful article.

    I was wondering whether you could put me in contact with an accountant/ whoever necessary to explain what is the best way to go about benefiting from the NHR tax status.

    Me and my partner are English but currently tax residents in France.

    We want to make the move to Portugal via the D7 visa and then apply for NHR status.

    My partner technically works as an employee for an American firm, but that could be changed to contractor status. We could then create a company in Estonia or somewhere that he then receives dividends from. Would this then be eligible for the 10% tax rate?

    I want to be sure that this is possible for us, as we wouldn’t want to throw away our French residency if it all went wrong! (Not being EU citizens anymore has really screwed things for us!).

    Thanks for your help in advance


  14. Hi James
    Thank you for writing one of the most helpful web sites about moving to Portugal!
    My question is, what is differences between
    Tax lawyer
    Tax advisor
    Tax accountant
    I hear all these being used, not sure which ones I need!

    I am self employed working remotely and have SS, dividends and copy right money.
    Thank you!

  15. Thank you for the informative article. If I studied Portuguese language in Portugal for one year and then moved to a different country for one year and then returned to live in Portugal on a D7 visa, would I be eligible for NHR? Would I have to leave Portugal for five years before returning to be eligible for NHR or would the visa to study language not count as a habitual resident against the five-year period to qualify for NHR?

    Thank you.

  16. Thanks for all the information. In applying for NHR status, do I need to fill out individual applications for both myself and wife?

    Looking forward to your reply.


  17. Hi James,

    Thank you so much for the amazing article and lots of quality discussion in the Q&A thread! I couldn’t find a similar situation as me, so adding this question.

    I am Korean who moved to Portugal in May 2021 with my family reunification visa submitted. However, along with the SEF suspending most of appointments, I only have a pending application and don’t have my residence card yet. If you know a lawyer or accountant who can help me apply for NHR, may I ask the introduction plz?

    Thank you!

  18. Hi, thanks for the great article.

    Would you be able to kindly provide an account for US-Portugal tax law?

    I would like to understand my estimated tax implications if I were to move to Portugal and work remotely for a US-based company.

  19. Hi James,

    I am self employed and own an LCC company based in Florida. I work online providing recruiting services to pharmaceutical companies. All my income gets taxed in the US at 22-24% (federal rate). If I understand correctly from this sentence “If you’ve paid tax elsewhere, you can use that as a tax credit against your tax in Portugal.” once I have paid my US taxes and file my year-end tax form in Portugal, I wouldn’t be liable to also pay tax in Portugal on that same income, correct? I would just put the tax that I have paid in the US in the Portuguese tax form to get the credit and avoid double taxation. Did I understand this correctly?

  20. Hi James,
    definitely one of the better articles I have read around the NHR scheme. I am a UK employee and have the option of working remotely. Can you refer me to an accountant as I have some questions around the scheme specific to my role.

  21. Hi James,
    I have an Estonian company with which I am working as a digital nomad. I was thinking about getting a residency in Portugal, while keep travelling around, renting long term.
    Do you know a good accountant I can consult with that is an expert about NHR and Estonian tax law?

  22. Hi James, thank you for a great article. I am not sure if you can help with this but me and my husband still run a business in the UK (we are self employed). We also have property in the UK and in PT. We pay our PT taxes on our PT rental income. We have NHR status. Our PT accountant asked us for our UK income and said that we should be paying our taxes in PT on our UK income. My UK accountant is confused and so am I! Any advice please, thank you.

  23. Hi James,

    Wonderful article, thank you! My husband and I are originally from Ireland but we live in the US and are planning on moving to Portugal and becoming non habitual residents. We have a roth IRA and 401ks from the USA. We have already paid taxes in the USA on the roth IRA and if I were to stay in US would owe no taxes on the roth but would owe taxes on the 401k.

    1) My question is are roth IRAs taxed the same as 401ks even though I’ve already paid taxes on the roth iras and do they tax 10% on everything withdrawn or only the investment gains? Doesn’t seem fair or logical to treat them both the same.

    2) For capital gains tax if I sell stock in my investment accounts is everything taxed at 28% regardless of how long you own stock, in the US long term capital gains are more favorable than short term capital gains. Then does the 28% apply to the increase in value only, so if I bought it for 25k and sold it for 28k it would only apply to the 3k or is the full 28k taxed at 28%?

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Thank you,


    • Hi Catherine

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Those are both great questions for an accountant, which I’m not unfortunately, but I’d be happy to pass your question onto someone that can answer.

      • Hi James this article is great thank you. Do you have a tax advisor that you could pass me the details of to talk to as I have quite a confusing situation I need clarification on.
        Thank you

    • Hi Catherine
      I have the exact same questions you had. I wonder if you received answers since posting this last year
      Please do share



  24. Hi James,

    Could you please clarify something for me:

    – Danish citizen, moving to Portugal
    – Danish employer, salary paid in Denmark (remote work)
    – Approved under NHR
    –> isn’t the whole point, that I would not pay tax in Portugal, and due to double taxation agreements, my income will not be taxed in Denmark, because I am no longer a residence there?
    If I am correct, I’d suggest correcting the Remote Working section to reflect this.

    • Hi Jesper,

      I am kinda in the same situation as you. Did you find a resolution to your case? If so, I would love to speak with you.


  25. Hi James,

    Thanks for the informative article. Do you know how website advertising revenue would be taxed under the NHR scheme (coming from the US, like Mediavine 😉 ) Would it be 0%?

  26. Hey James, thanks for the great article. I am a US/Spanish dual citizen, but have only ever been a tax resident of the US. I moved to Portugal this past May, and am having quite a headache finalizing temporary residency as an EU citizen (keep being told different document requirements, 6x now!), which also complicates signing up for NHR, at the health center, and, of course, getting my Covid vaccination as well. Any chance you can put me in touch with an English-speaking agency that can help me get all of the above squared away? Cheers!

  27. Hello Carl,

    Thank you for this excellent overview. My girlfriend and I (EU citizens) are moving to Portugal and are at a bit confused as to whether or not she would be eligible for the NHR system and how she would pay her taxes. We are curious if you have a good expert to put us in touch with?

    Basically, we currently live in Belgium and my girlfriend, who is a Customer Success professional, currently has two offers to work for two foreign companies, one in the Netherlands and one from a US company. The Dutch company, with all of its business activities in the Netherlands, would most likely hire her in the Netherlands so that she would pay taxes in the Netherlands and we understand in this case she would pay 0% taxes in Portugal? On the other hand, if she accepts the offer from the US company, which also has no presence in Portugal and which has international business activities, she could register as an independent in Portugal (but apply for NHR status) and pay only 20% flat rate + social security on ALL income?

    Best regards


  28. Hi, n.
    I immigrated recently – from Denmark in this case. I am going for the NHR scheme to. Live in a rented apartment in the Seixal area on the southside of the Lisbon river. Am 53 years old and some remote part time hours on accounting and taxes for danish companies.
    On the NHR, I just had a bad experience on my first try to hire a lawyer and accounting in a 2-person-company to help me on the NHR and other tax and finance related topics. After signing and paying, I get no feedback/help.

    Could I ask you to put me in contact with a relevant portuguese accountant ?

    Thanks in advance.

  29. Thanks for a very informative article. I am a US Citizen and I collect Social Security. All relevant taxes have already been taken and consequently, I am entitled to a certain amount, tax free, through my retirement. I don’t think of Social Security as a Pension and would like to know if I would be expected to pay the 10% Portugese tax on money that has already been taxed. Thank you very much for your help with this!

  30. Hi James,
    Could you kindly continue the answer with a situation whereas the savings account were located in Portugal and monies were transferred between a US account to this savings account quarterly for example? Perhaps a pension in the US were to deposit into that US account, but not into the Portugal savings account.

    Thank you

  31. I came to Portugal late 2020. My income is from private pension and non-Portuguese rental, so I applied for and obtained NHR in March 2021. I have asked for the assistance of an accoutant in filing my 2020 Portuguese return. They have told me a tax-free lump sum paid in the UK in January 2020 may be subject to Portuguese taxation. I really hope this isn’t the case. My understaning was that only pension received in Portugal (post residency) was taxable in Portugal. Is this correct? Thanks

  32. Hi James,
    I would be grateful if you could explain the tax on pensions arrangement between Portugal and Ireland. I have retired from work in Ireland and considering retiring to Portugal and it’s very difficult to get this information.
    Thanking you,

  33. Thanks for the information! This website is really helpful. A recommendation on an accountant to discuss this further would be greatly appreciated. If they could help with my D7 application, even better!

    • Hi James,

      Thanks for writing article about NHR!

      Can I ask you some questions?

      1. I arrived in Portugal under D7 visa on April 2, so I could apply the NHR on March 31st next year? If not, then when should I apply it?

      2. I worked as an online teacher for two children in Canada, but I can still continue working as an online teacher for them when I moved to Portugal. According to my situation, do you think if I’m a self-employed or freelancer?

      3.Do I need register as a self-employed or freelancer immediately after moving to Portugal? As I read an article and it said, “You have to register as a self-employed or freelancer before starting the self-employed or freelancer activities.

      4. Could you please put me on an accountant or recommend an accountant to me, please?

      Thank you in advance.


  34. I became a NHR in Portugal before March 2020 when the rate was zero. Will I be pushed up to the 10% this year? Or will my rate remain zero since I joined when it was zero? Thank you.

  35. Hi James,

    Thank you for the useful information/article!

    I’m an EU citizen planning to move to Portugal while working remotely from there (my employer is German company), so I’ll be receiving my income outside Portugal (technically) in my German bank account.

    Do you think I’ll be eligible for the NHR in this case?

  36. Hi James

    Great website – very helpful.
    I have acquired NHR status (that was easy!) but my contabilista is not really responding and it’s frustrating. Do you have a suggestion for where to find a responsive English-speaking accountant who’s well versed in NHR?

  37. Hi James,

    I am Portuguese/USA Citizen married to USA Citizen and both living and working in The Netherlands. We have property in Portugal and we intent to move to Portugal for good while working from Home remotely for European based companies. Will NHR apply to both of us and if so can you forward us to an expert in this area?

    Thanks and great site btw

  38. Thanks for a very helpful article. Are there any travel restrictions once I apply for NHR? I understand that the requirement is for 183 days of the year, but would need to travel back to the US for work and also other European countries for vacations. I’m wondering how that affects the 183 days and if I should keep a log as proof just in case.

  39. I have an investment portfolio in addition to my Soc. Sec. pension. I understand that the pension would be taxed at 10%. Would income and or capital gains be taxed in Portugal if the portfolio is in my home country?

  40. I have an investment portfolio in addition to my Soc. Sec. pension. I understand that the pension would be taxed at 10%. Would income and or capital gains be taxed in Portugal if the portfolio is in my home country?

    • Hi Fred,

      This is a good question for an accountant. I’m just a writer, but can refer you to someone if you need.

  41. Hi James,

    Thanks for the helpful write-up. My wife and I are looking to move to Portugal in the near future as remote US workers and are curious to know how this will impact the taxes we pay (both to the US and Portugal).

    We both receive income as W2 employees, although her W2 income is only from part-time work. Her main source of income comes via her personal design business where she holds contracts with individual clients. Any info/suggestions on who could help us better understand our situation RE: taxes would be greatly appreciated!


  42. Hi James,

    I have NHR status in Portugal since a year, but I will be taking a job abroad for few years.
    Where in the Portal das Finanças can I request to suspend my NHR and ensuring I will not lose my status when I am back? Is there documentation required?

    Muito obrigado


    • Hi James,

      “Before you can apply for NHR, you need to be resident in Portugal. If you move to Portugal on a visa, this will be the date that you moved to Portugal”

      You mean the 1st date arrived in Portugal , before obtained the staying permit from immigration office ?

      IE: arrived on November 01 of 2020, then the deadline of apply NHR is Mar 31 of 2021, rather than Mar 31 of 2022.
      As 2020 would be considered as 1st year of residence ?

  43. Hi James,

    I have NHR status in Portugal since a year, but I will be taking a job abroad for few years.
    Where in the Portal das Finanças can I request to suspend my NHR and ensuring I will not lose my status when I am back? Is there documentation required?

    Muito obrigado


  44. Great article – thanks. Does a remote worker in Portugal being taxed abroad also apply to their employer? I.e. if a US based company allows an employee to work remotely in Portugal, the employer can continue to be taxed in the US via the NHR scheme, but what’s the impact to the employer? Would they continue paying normal US taxes as if the employee was still in the US?

  45. Hi, does NHR tax apply if I hold a residency permit, am retired or semi retired drawing my income from large savings account.


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