Exploring Property Taxes in Portugal: Essential Guide

As a seasoned expat in Portugal, I’ve learned that moving to a new country involves more than just packing your bags and hopping on a plane. It requires a deep understanding of local customs, cultural events, investment opportunities, and the legal aspects of visas, citizenship programs, and golden visas. And one of the most important aspects of living in Portugal is understanding the property tax system.

While property taxes may not be the most exciting topic, they are a crucial part of owning a home in Portugal. As someone who has gone through the process of buying and owning property in Portugal, I can tell you that understanding property taxes is essential for making informed decisions about your investment.

One thing to keep in mind is that property taxes in Portugal are relatively low compared to other European countries. This is great news for those who are looking to buy property, as it means that you’ll be able to keep more of your hard-earned money. However, it’s important to note that property taxes can still be a significant expense, especially if you own multiple properties or if your property is located in a high-value area.

In my experience, the best way to navigate the property tax system in Portugal is to work with a knowledgeable and experienced tax professional. They can help you understand the various taxes that apply to your property, including the IMI (municipal property tax) and the IMT (property transfer tax). Additionally, they can help you take advantage of any tax incentives or exemptions that may be available to you.

By taking the time to understand the system and working with the right professionals, you can ensure that you’re making informed decisions and maximizing your investment.

Do you pay property taxes in Portugal?

If you’re considering purchasing a property in Portugal, one important factor to consider is property taxes. As a current expat in Portugal, I’d like to share my personal insights on the topic.

Firstly, it’s important to note that property taxes in Portugal are relatively low compared to other countries. There are two types of property taxes in Portugal: IMI (Imposto Municipal sobre Imóveis) and AIMI (Adicional ao IMI).


IMI is an annual property tax that is based on the tax value of the property. The tax value is determined by the local tax authority and is typically lower than the market value of the property. The rate of IMI varies depending on the location, type, and age of the property. However, the rates are generally between 0.3% and 0.45% of the tax value.

It’s worth noting that if the property is your primary residence, you may be eligible for a tax reduction. The reduction amount depends on the value of the property and your household income.


AIMI is an additional property tax that applies to properties that have a tax value over €600,000. The tax rate for AIMI is 0.7% for properties owned by individuals and 1% for properties owned by companies. However, there is a tax-free threshold of €600,000 for individuals and €1,000,000 for companies.

It’s important to note that if you own multiple properties in Portugal, the tax-free threshold applies to the total value of all the properties. For example, if you own three properties with a tax value of €400,000 each, you won’t have to pay AIMI.

What taxes do you pay when buying a property in Portugal?

Portugal has become an increasingly popular destination for property investments, thanks to its beautiful weather, stunning landscapes, friendly culture, and a relatively affordable cost of living. However, before you make a purchase, it’s essential to understand the tax implications involved in owning property in Portugal.

Imposto Municipal Sobre Transmissões Onerosas (IMT)

The first tax you’ll need to pay is the Imposto Municipal Sobre Transmissões Onerosas (IMT), also known as the property transfer tax. IMT is a one-time fee that’s charged based on the property’s value, location, and intended use. The rates range from 1% to 8%, with higher rates applied to luxury properties, and lower rates applied to residential properties for permanent residents.

As an example, if you’re buying a €500,000 property in Portugal, you’ll need to pay €14,375 in IMT. However, if you’re buying a property worth €1 million, the IMT rate increases to 6%, and you’ll pay €60,000 in taxes.

Note that as a non-resident, you may be eligible for a tax reduction if you’re purchasing a property in a low-density area or renovating a property that’s been abandoned for over 30 years.

Imposto Municipal sobre Imóveis (IMI)

The Imposto Municipal sobre Imóveis (IMI) is an annual property tax that’s payable by the property owner. The tax rate ranges from 0.3% to 0.45% of the property’s fiscal value. Fiscal value is determined by the tax authority and is usually lower than the market value.

IMI is calculated based on the property’s location, size, and type. As an example, if you own a €500,000 property in Lisbon, your annual IMI tax would be approximately €1,725.

Imposto do Selo (IS)

The Imposto do Selo (IS) is a stamp duty tax that’s payable on all legal documents involved in a property transaction, such as the purchase agreement, mortgage deed, and bank guarantee. The IS rate is 0.8% of the total transaction value, with additional charges for mortgages.

As an example, if you’re taking out a €300,000 mortgage to buy a property, you’ll pay €1,200 in IS in addition to other transaction fees.

Is Portugal still a tax haven?

As an expat living in Portugal, the topic of tax is always on my mind. And with Portugal’s popularity among foreign investors and retirees on the rise, many are wondering: Is Portugal still a tax haven?

The answer to this question is not a simple one, as it depends on your definition of a tax haven. Traditionally, a tax haven is a country that offers low tax rates or minimal tax liability to foreign individuals and companies. While Portugal does offer some tax incentives, it is not considered a tax haven in the strictest sense.

However, Portugal is known for its Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program, which allows certain new residents to benefit from a flat tax rate of 20% on income from certain professions for a period of 10 years. This program has attracted many foreign retirees and investors to Portugal, making it a popular choice for those seeking a more favorable tax situation.

When it comes to property taxes in Portugal, there are some important things to keep in mind. Firstly, there is a one-time property transfer tax of up to 6% of the property value for both buyers and sellers. Secondly, there is an annual property tax called the Imposto Municipal sobre Imóveis (IMI), which is based on the value of the property and ranges from 0.3% to 0.45%. However, properties with a value under €600,000 may be eligible for a reduced tax rate under certain conditions.

Additionally, Portugal offers a Golden Visa program, which grants residency to non-EU citizens who invest a minimum of €500,000 in property. While this program does not offer tax benefits directly, it can lead to eventual citizenship and access to the benefits that come with it.

It’s important to do your research and consult with a professional to determine how these programs may benefit you before making any decisions.

As for my personal experience, I have found Portugal’s tax system to be fair and reasonable. The process of paying taxes is straightforward and there is plenty of information available in English to help expats navigate the system. Plus, with Portugal’s sunny weather, delicious food, and friendly people, the tax situation is just a small part of what makes this country a great place to live and invest in.

Are taxes expensive in Portugal?

As an expat living in Portugal, I can tell you that taxes are a topic of conversation among foreigners looking to move or invest in the country. In this article, we’ll focus on property taxes in Portugal and whether or not they are expensive.

Understanding Property Taxes in Portugal

In Portugal, property taxes are known as “IMI” (Imposto Municipal sobre Imóveis) and are paid annually by property owners. These taxes are based on the value of the property and are calculated by the local municipality where the property is located. The rate can vary from municipality to municipality, but it is generally between 0.3% and 0.5% of the property’s value.

It is important to note that in Portugal, there is no capital gains tax on the sale of a primary residence if the seller has owned the property for more than three years. However, if the property is sold before the three-year mark, capital gains tax will apply, and the rate will depend on the seller’s income.

Comparing Property Taxes in Portugal to Other Countries

When it comes to property taxes, Portugal is considered to be quite reasonable compared to other European countries. For example, in France, property taxes can be as high as 1.5% of the property’s value, and in Spain, the rate can be up to 1.1%. In the United States, property taxes vary greatly depending on the state and can be as high as 2%.

Practical Tips

Here are some practical tips when it comes to property taxes in Portugal:

  • When looking to buy a property in Portugal, make sure to factor in the IMI tax when calculating your budget.
  • If you are a non-resident property owner in Portugal, you will need to appoint a fiscal representative to handle your taxes.
  • If you are planning to sell your property in Portugal, make sure to consult with a tax advisor to understand any potential tax implications.

Finding a reputable and knowledgeable real estate agent in Portugal is crucial for anyone wishing to invest or relocate to this beautiful country. With a deep understanding of local customs, cultural events, investment opportunities, and the legal aspects of visas, citizenship programs, and golden visas, a trusted agent can provide valuable insight and guidance throughout the entire process. Whether you are looking to purchase a vacation home, retire abroad, or start a new life as an expat, partnering with a qualified real estate agent can make all the difference in experiencing a smooth and successful transition. Portugal offers a unique blend of old-world charm, modern amenities, and stunning natural beauty, and with the help of a skilled real estate agent, you can make your dream of living abroad a reality.


I’ve written extensively about Portugal Real Estate. Explore more articles about it:


Originally posted 2023-07-09 04:39:16.