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How to register NHR

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 Miao
Community Member
Topic starter
(@miao)
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Joined: 6 months ago

Hi everyone,

 

May I know how to register NHR? Can I register it online?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Annie 

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Admin
(@jonesdn2020)
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Hi Annie, yes you can submit it online is what we were told. Not sure if you upload the last 5 years of your tax returns as we were told is required. 

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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@jonesdn2020 who advised you need to upload 5 years of tax returns?...never heard or read of that anywhere.

https://www.portugalresident.com/non-habitual-residents-the-step-by-step-process-to-get-nhr/

It is a straightforward task from what I've read -  Get your NIF, get your residency permit, change your address to become tax resident, file in a couple of questions online at the Finacas portal and then await their decision.

https://sitfiscal.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt/dados/residentenaohabitual/entregar

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Admin
(@jonesdn2020)
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@blaze451 I might have misconstrued the mention of uploading the 5 years of tax returns versus the fact that 5 years of tax returns would need to be submitted if you are denied your NHR. That is the requirement of proof as I understand it.

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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@jonesdn2020 yes that makes sense. You are required to tick a box to say you have not been tax resident for the past 5 years, so if they for some reason doubt it then you would need to prove it. Though I don't see why they cant check themselves as if you were tax resident previously your NIF would be registered as such and they could see that you were previously tax resident.

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Admin
(@jonesdn2020)
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@blaze451 I imagine they can see your Portugal data but if you are not required to file a return here it would not be there. We understood you would need 5 tax returns from other countries.  Our research on the sharing of tax data showed that there is a delay and they might not have the current records from countries that share tax data.  

We have our last 5 years of US tax returns, so we are comfortable with that.

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 Miao
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(@miao)
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@blaze451 Thanks for all the information!

 

Kind regards,

Annie 

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 Miao
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(@miao)
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@jonesdn2020 Hi Jones, thanks for replying to my question!

 

Kind regards,

 

Annie 

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 Miao
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(@miao)
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@jonesdn2020 Hi Jones, No, I have applied the NHR online yet, so I don't know if I need upload the last 5 years 'tax return. If I apply the NHR status on Finances website, will they email me and let me know if my NHR status approved? Thanks! 

 

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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@miao you don't need to upload your tax returns, and yes they will notify you if approved or denied.

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 Miao
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(@miao)
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@blaze451 Thanks! Will they notify me by email or by mail? Thanks!

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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can't help wondering what all these companies are doing for the money they charge to help with getting NHR. I was quoted over 400 euros...for what?. price doesn't include getting NIF or residency permit. You change your address online and fill in a few questions and that's it. What a rip off. If your denied for any reason I guess they would then take up your case, but then there would be nothing stopping you hiring them after you have been denied.

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Admin
(@jonesdn2020)
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@blaze451 We agree! We paid €75 each with VAT included for our NIF and 1 year of fiscal representation. That was a decent rate, and we valued the service for that fee.

The joint bank account at €350 with VAT included was tough to swallow. When we figured the real cost was €285 plus VAT and required more dedicated labor we were ok with it.

I think we were quoted €350 each plus VAT for NHR. Insane to pay that price.

We have seen SNS registrations running €175 plus VAT per person. That made using Serenity for the SNS and all their services for 1 year at €180 per person including VAT the best bargain we have seen. Serenity Care, Lda | Expats Portugal

    

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 Miao
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(@miao)
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@jonesdn2020 Could you please explain to me what means VAT? Thanks!

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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@miao Value added tax, similar to Canadas Goods and services tax.  In Portugal it is 23%

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 Miao
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(@miao)
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Ask our Expat Consultant
(@thomasribatejo)
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@blaze451 Simply as a clarification (as 23% is indeed the standard rate in Mainland Portugal), there are actually three rates of IVA, and they vary for the Autonomous Regions, too:

Taxa Continente Madeira Açores
Normal 23% 22% 16%
Intermedia 13% 12% 9%
Reduzida 6% 5% 4%

23% is indeed the most commonly-applied rate in Mainland Portugal.

The Intermediate rate is applied to some food/drink, to some food/drink services, and to a range of events/entry fees.

The Reduced rate is applied to some other food/drink, books, pharmaceuticals, and a few other things.

(You will see all three rates on, for example, a supermarket receipt - depending, of course, on what you buy.)

The lower rates can also be applied in specific circumstances - for example, approved restoration projects often benefit from the 6% rate for much of what they involve.

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 Miao
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(@miao)
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  1. @blaze451 Yes, I totally agree! Lots of companies ask for very expensive price for applying NIF,  SNS, NHR status, and opening a bank account. Actually, we could do it by ourselves and save lots of money:)
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Premium Member
(@dyann)
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@blaze451 - Yep, I'm one of those fools who paid Ei! 300Euros, per person, for NIFs.  I do feel ripped off especially given this forum recommends them.  They also charge 350Euros for NHR.  And the worst part is, I'm a super capable person and had intended to do the entire D7 process myself BUT was swayed by this forum and Good Morning Portugal to use experts to help.  Still not sure why I'm continuing to use them now.  Call me crazy!

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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@dyann well the good thing is its all one offs so once its done its done. They are definitely helpful for D7 process and SEF appointment. Both could be done without assistance but it can be rather overwhelming doing it yourself and it only needs one error to result in being denied the visa /permit. As to the other services it becomes less obvious their value when you do a little research into what's involved. 300 seems steep though for NIF if per person as bordr.io takes 150

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Admin
(@jonesdn2020)
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@dyann If the 300 euros per person includes obtaining a Millennium bank account, then that is the going rate with all the vendors we have seen. 

What people pay, what they can do for themselves, and what people can afford are highly subjective. I know my mother would pay and not bat an eye at any of these fees. That is her approach to life. I ask her why she paid someone this much for that, and she simply tells me it was worth it to me.  

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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@jonesdn2020 just had a look at my Ei service price list and it states 300 plus vat for just NIF per person. Its another 100 plus vat for bank account.

Strangely usually the NIF is the cheaper of the 2, unless it because I believe Millennium has an office right below them, so probably easy for them to deal in person.

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Premium Member
(@jeanne)
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@dyann   If you are not yet living in Portugal, I don't think its even possible to obtain a NIF by DIY.  The company is not just requesting a NIF for you - you are also hiring them to be your Fiscal Representative, as is required by PT law. 

The requirement regarding Fiscal Representatives has recently changed (if I am reading this correctly : https://www.theportugalnews.com/news/2022-06-08/appointment-of-a-tax-representative-no-longer-mandatory-for-those-with-no-tax-obligations-in-portugal/67784?src=newsletter-09/06/2022),

But it sounds to me like the new law will apply only when a person who *already* has a NIF resides outside of Portugal. 

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Admin
(@jonesdn2020)
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@jeanne You can actually go in person and apply for your NIF. We met a couple from Finland recently that told us the queue was insane. They tapped out. 

What is the cost to you for coming to Portugal and standing in line for one or more days to get your NIF in person? I am paying someone to do this for me.

We are accustomed to this in the US for DMV services. We can pay a service $40 dollars to register our new car or spend the day dealing with the DMV. We default to paying the service fee.

 

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 ACK
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(@ack)
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@jonesdn2020 I got the NIF in Porto Loja de Cidadao. Took a number for the financas and waited about 25 minutes to be seen. The NIF registration document was issued to me on the spot after about 10 mins of the official filling in information and complaining how the computer system kept freezing. Nothing more to it that that.  Completely free. I did this on day one in Portugal.

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Admin
(@jonesdn2020)
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@ack Portugal NIF visit was a little out of the way for us as we lived in Las Vegas.

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 ACK
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(@ack)
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@jeanne If you are a non-resident in Portugal, you can still go by yourself as long as you have a fiscal representative.  This can be anyone resident in Portugal.  If you have a friend living here already, that will do.  It does not have to be a company charging fees. Go to the Loja de cidadao together with the friend with all their relevant ID, NIF and proof of residence documents.

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(@jeanne)
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@ack  yes, my point was precisely that a fiscal rep is needed in certain circumstances.

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 ACK
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(@ack)
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Joined: 8 months ago

I have successfully registered for NHR online.  It is free and I agree that companies charging a bundle for it are perhaps taking advantage of people. In my book, the same goes for getting a NIF, or SNS number which are likewise completely free.  The link below (also provided by Blaze above) is all you need.

https://info.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt/pt/apoio_contribuinte/Folhetos_informativos/Documents/Non_regular_residents_Registration_for_tax_purposes.pdf

After you submit the application, it will take a few days to be approved.  If you come back and see the status is DEFERIDO, then that means accepted.  It does not mean deferred. If you see Indeferido, then you may need to contest it and submit tax returns.  I know a lot of people with NHR, who applied through agents or by themselves and nobody has ever had to actually furnish tax returns or received an indeferido designation. 

In my case, AT approved the application in one business day. 

I have also submitted my tax returns online (by myself) and had the declaration accepted as correct for FY2021. If you need any help with that, I am happy to answer any questions. There is also a great function in the AT website that allows you to ask questions in the E balcao.  Usually they respond within a day. Don't pay more than you have to to agencies is my suggestion. 

 

 

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21 Replies
Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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@ack how was the tax rebate handled?, did you have to do anything or do they work it out and deduct it for you?. Currently I log all receipts on the AT portal which gives an estimated  amount of rebate likely, so I'm assuming they use that info...

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 ACK
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(@ack)
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@blaze451 I did not receive a tax rebate, which is unsurprising given that I paid no tax in the first place. 

My tax return was very simple and essentially amounted to declaration of overseas rental income and overseas accounts. I am still (a bit) too young to be taking a pension, so i don't have that complication.

For the rebates, I assume you mean stuff like saving up all your receipts for this that and the next thing with your NIF attached and submitting them for deductions in various categories? I didn't bother. I'm not paying income tax, so nothing would be deducted or subject to rebate anyway. A waste of time for me.  Apart from that, I despise the idea of giving my NIF out all the time.  For me, it is a very 1984-ish thing to give your number when making a purchase  and I won't use it unless legally obligated to do so. 

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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@ack yes I meant day to day expenses. There is categories for health, transport etc...so far I have 470 euros rebate accumulated. I expect to have around 600 for the year. If I then add the 4104 euros general allowance I am expecting to only be paying under 100 euros tax for the year. So for me its worth the hassle of logging my receipts and giving out my NIF. Just not sure yet if I am supposed to provide the info to them or if they do it themselves.

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Posted by: @blaze451

@ack yes I meant day to day expenses. There is categories for health, transport etc...so far I have 470 euros rebate accumulated. I expect to have around 600 for the year. If I then add the 4104 euros general allowance I am expecting to only be paying under 100 euros tax for the year. So for me its worth the hassle of logging my receipts and giving out my NIF. Just not sure yet if I am supposed to provide the info to them or if they do it themselves.

I'm sure you're probably aware of this and it's just loose terminology which leads me to read that you're possibly not but ...

The 4,104€ which you're describing as a general allowance is actually only applicable to certain types of income, namely categories A (dependent employment) and H (pensions). If your income is not either of those, it doesn't apply. Where it does apply, it is deducted from the declared income prior to the tax calculation being performed.

The others, as you both say, are deducted from the calculated gross tax due amount.

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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@x-camone yes, mine would be H (pensions). Do you know who does the deduction (4104) though, do I do it first before declaring my income, or does AT do the deduction on what I declare?

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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never mind, I didn't read your reply properly, it is deducted from my declared income.

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(@x-camone)
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Posted by: @blaze451

@x-camone yes, mine would be H (pensions). Do you know who does the deduction (4104) though, do I do it first before declaring my income, or does AT do the deduction on what I declare?

You declare the full amount and AT makes the deduction.

For beneficiaries of NHR, though, I'm not entirely sure whether the deductions of either type apply - I know at one stage a while back when I was delving about, it was apparent that you had to be on the general tax regime to get them but that may have changed since.

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Admin
(@jonesdn2020)
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@x-camone I believe in last Thursdays Expats Portugal webinar with All Finance Matters | Expats Portugal he did state that using the NHR tax option negates any exemptions. They only apply to the progressive tax regime. 

Just because you have the NHR does not mean you need to claim it in years the progressive tax regime and the exemptions may be a better alternative. 

We are going to take the prudent approach and log all NIF purchases required for exemptions so our tax accountant can do the math on which method is advantages for that year's taxes. 

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VIP Member
(@x-camone)
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@jonesdn2020 Thanks - I'll have a review of that when I have a moment, if it's still available. That choice is something I've commented on several times previously as being a reason to register for NHR in the first place, without being entirely sure as to the full ins and outs of whether it would be beneficial to apply it in any given year. That should clear it up.

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Admin
(@jonesdn2020)
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@x-camone It has not been published yet to YouTube since it was a Zoom event. It should be posted on YouTube this week.

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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@x-camone I found this comment on a  thread on another forum from February this year-

Our local accountant (40 euros for a combined couple's declaration) did our's under the NHR scheme and included the amounts from the General Expenses accrued over the year, to reduce the small amount of tax we had due. Finanças was happy with the declarations ...

I think a chat with AFM after my SEF appointment is out the way is in order.

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@blaze451 AFM are the people cited above who reportedly say the allowances don't apply unless you opt for taxation under the general regime, so that's the answer you'll get from them. There is a very slim, outside chance that they could possibly be working on an incorrect assumption, although I would sincerely hope not. I'll certainly have a listen to what they say when it becomes available.

What the poster on the other forum says is borne of practical experience and contradicts that advice. That said, I'm always slightly wary of single-instance anecdotal evidence presented on forums and that is the only comment of such a nature I have come across. Pretty much everybody else who's asked about NHR has gone into silent mode the moment they've received the info they wanted, which is a bit of a pity given the various outstanding queries which arise from time to time.

My own personal inclination is towards there having been a change in the law which allows for deductions for NHR beneficiaries. There's something that appears to me to be missing from the current wording on their application which was previously explicitly excluding them being claimed except by taxpayers on the general and progressive scales. But I'm no expert and I don't have a personal interest in the matter other than having it straight in my own mind so I can pass on info to those who want it, so I haven't pursued it any further.

It's possible that the simulator on the Finanças portal might handle the sums of the 2 scenarios and eliminate doubts - it was certainly well able to manage my own slightly complicated situation with regard to a mix of public and private sector pensions and whether it was more advantageous for my wife and I to declare jointly or separately, and with or without englobamento so a big thumbs up to it for that.

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Admin
(@jonesdn2020)
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@x-camone Agreed. Thank you for the simulator information. Just because someone has submitted a tax return under an approach for which they paid 40 euros doesn't mean the IRS isn't going to come after them later. 

We will need to see the actual tax code before we can comment.

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Admin
(@jonesdn2020)
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@x-camone Shannon actually took notes. I confirmed what the details are with the link by @blaze451. You get the "general allowance of €4,104" under the NHR. You do not get the credits listed in the link.

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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 ACK
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(@ack)
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@blaze451 I know you can claim a lot, but at the end of the day if you are not paying any tax, you are not going to be given money back. When I start drawing my pension I will probably do it since that is supposed to be taxed at 10% under the NHR rules I signed up for. 

In Portugal, companies and organizations are constantly asking for your NIF and other questions such as martial status. With the NIF, I always ask them if this is a legal requirement. Often it is not. As for other information,  for example, Vodafone want to know if I am married for a phone contract and the people who registered the SNS number also had this question. I always write "refuse to answer" and it has never been a deal-breaker. I just feel really strongly about my privacy and will avoid doling out unnecessary info if at all possible.  

 

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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@ack one of the reasons i would continue to log receipts even if not going to claim the rebate is to assist in proving i was   resident in portugal, in the unlikely but potentially possible scenario it is doubted.

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 ACK
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(@ack)
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@blaze451 Yeah, some people say that about receipts, but I'm not sure it is true. I'm an EU citizen already and for citizenship acquisition purposes, I make sure to spend 6.5 months a year in Portugal.  They do not look all that closely at the comings and goings of EU citizens compared to non-EU (according to information from my lawyer) and the dates used seem to be based off of the CRUE certificate rather than entries. Anyway, 6.5 months is more than enough each year. 

As for tax residence, I have yet to come across a situation where Portugal claimed a person was not tax resident. Usually, it is the other way around.  Personally, I live between Portugal and Thailand and with the income types and sources I have, I do not have any tax payment obligations in either place beyond a bit of IMI for my land in Portugal and IVA on consumption. I do not know what my tax burden will be after NHR expires (still 8 years), but if it is too high and if I am still healthy, I would switch to 6.5 months a year in Thailand and 5.5 in Portugal to avoid it. 

If you are a US citizen, obviously different (and worse) rules apply. 

 

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 Miao
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(@miao)
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@ack I was wondering how did you register NHR online successful. Could you please share the registration step by step?

 

I just tried to register it online a few times, but it didn't work out for me. When I logged into the tax authority website for registering NHR page, it showed taxpayer's(mine) address automatically on the website. All I did was to fill out the "start year", "foreign country that I lived in the previous year"."NIF #" , but it said that I couldn't be my tax representative after submitting.  

 

Thanks,

Annie 

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 Miao
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(@miao)
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@ack I was wondering how did you register NHR online successfully. Could you please share how to register online step by step? I tried it a few times, but it didn't work out for me. After logging into the NHR registration page, all I did just filled out the "start year", "Foreign country that I lived in previous year", "NIF #", but after submitting and it said that I couldn't be my representative. 

 

Thanks,

Annie 

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Premium Member
(@blaze451)
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@miao Perhaps your residency status hasn't fully worked its way through the system, so it thinks you are still non-resident and therefore can't be your own representative. Give it a few days and try again.

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(@gerry)
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We recommend Ei! and other professional services because they are solid, reliable, trustworthy and properly registered companies that provide excellent service through their qualified people. 

Of course you can do all these things yourselves or with cheaper companies but most of our members join in order to get the best help on such matters and want to use the best available suppliers. The results can be seen across all the great testimonials to our suppliers that are on this forum and our YouTube videos. 

When I first invested in property in Portugal back in 2005, I used a local lawyer to handle my tax matters and fiscal representation. Later when I moved here and applied for NHR, it was refused because the lawyer had incorrectly filed my tax status and then claimed he had a fire in his office and no longer held the records. I had several other lawyers look at this on my behalf but without success. So, the mistake and shenanigans by this first lawyer will ultimately cost me thousands because I cannot get NHR status. The one good thing I can say about him is that he was cheap.

But I really wish I known Ei! back at that time. I feel very confident they would not have created such a problem and if they did, they would have been able to rectify it. 

In my view, the key to good service is the peace of mind that everything has been done properly and the assurance that if there are any issues, they will be dealt with professionally. That is what we endeavour to bring to our members at expatsportugal through our recommended suppliers.

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(@hapie3)
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@gerry This makes a lot of sense and brings me back to reality.  Thank you.

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 ACK
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(@ack)
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@gerry I am not condemning your choice of Ei! However, to my mind, they are overpriced in the way that services targeted at foreigners around the world usually are.  I see nothing to distinguish Ei! from a host of other lawyers, other than promotion to foreigners and a willingness to communicate in English. 

Members receive a discount to use the services of Ei!, which is good.  However, can you please confirm that Expats Portugal does not receive payment for promoting Ei!'s services via this partnership?  I think that would make people feel more confident in accepting your advice as impartial. 

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(@gerry)
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@ack I have already explained how and why we choose and recommend our preferred suppliers. We select these companies through proper research, continual review meetings and by acting on feedback from our members. Our member requirements are always uppermost in our decisions and discussions with our suppliers. 

Meanwhile, you are entitled to your opinion and you can take our advice or ignore it. That is entirely your choice. 

 

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 ACK
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(@ack)
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@gerry I assume you have your reasons for avoiding giving a direct answer on the commercial relationship between Ei! and expats Portugal. I would have a appreciated a simple "Yes. We receive a commission payment from Ei! for each member that uses their service and additional advertising revenue" or "No. We receive no payments from Ei!".  

Forgive me, but if someone is telling me a service is the best, I always check out their underlying motivations. If you are getting paid, that is understandable.  You are running a business after all.  However, being transparent about it would be better. 

Obviously, this knowledge factors in to how people will evaluate advice given. 

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(@gerry)
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@ack I am not avoiding anything but I am not prepared to debate with you how we operate our business, especially on a public forum. 

You suggested that our selection of suppliers is not impartial. I have given you our logic and if you don’t like it that’s fine. But I don’t see a continuation of this exchange as constructive or of interest to our members.

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 Ralf
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@ack I have used Ei! to assist us in our move to Portugal, and I think they represent good value. Maybe I could have saved some money going with another firm, but when you consider the importance of moving to another country, I want confidence in the process. Ei! has given me that, and then some. Just my .02.

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 ACK
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(@ack)
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@ralf I'm happy that you are happy.  I never suggested that the service given by Ei! was bad, merely that it is overpriced. It is hardly unexpected. All services that have the expat market as their primary target tend to be thus.

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Admin
(@jonesdn2020)
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@ralf Ei! caught a couple mistakes we would have made if we went it alone. The cost of our mistakes would have greatly exceeded what we paid them.

I think it is different for everyone due to circumstances. We were in Las Vegas and had to travel to San Francisco for VFS which is not a cheap trip. 

They also saved us a great amount with finding our apartment. Traveling from Las Vegas to Portugal is also very costly. 

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