In October 2023, the Portuguese government announced that by January 2024 it would end the Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) tax regime, which has granted tax benefits to many expats in Portugal since 2009. With the NHR program being phased out, the number of people who can still apply has significantly decreased, and those can still apply now have urgent deadlines to meet.

The End of the NHR Program

nhr residentsBy the end of March 2025, the program will be completely closed to new applicants. Many expats who established tax residency in Portugal over the past decade or so have been able to make the most of the NHR, which offers favorable tax policies over a 10-year period, such as a flat 20 percent rate on income tax as well as 0 to 10 percent rate on pensions.

In October 2023, the Portuguese Prime Minister announced his intention to eliminate the NHR, stating that “maintaining this measure for the future is prolonging a measure of fiscal injustice.”

Anyone who is already registered under the program will continue to benefit from the same tax benefits available to them under the existing terms for the entirety of the 10-year period.

Entering a Transitional Period for NHR

While NHR is being phased out for new applicants, there is now a transitional period that allows certain individuals to qualify for the existing program.

Anyone who registered as a tax resident in the country in 2023 and had not been taxed in Portugal in the previous five years can still apply by March 31, 2024.

It’s also possible for some individuals to apply up until March 31, 2025, but the eligibility requirements for this deadline are more stringent. To qualify, it’s necessary to meet at least one of the following criteria:

  •  Having an employment contract signed/to be signed by December 31, 2023
  •  Having a lease agreement or other contract for the use/possession of property signed by October 10, 2023
  •  Having a contract to buy property in Portugal signed by October 10, 2023
  •  Having children enrolled or registered in a school in Portugal by October 10, 2023
  •  Having a residence visa or a residence permit valid from December 31, 2023
  •  Having an application for a residence visa or residence permit initiated by December 31, 2023
  •  Being a member of the household of anyone who meets the above criteria

Anyone who qualifies under these conditions will have NHR status from the date that they become a tax resident — whether that’s in 2024 or in the first quarter of 2025 — until December 31, 2033.

Moving Toward “NHR 2.0”

moving-to-aeroport-nhrThe NHR tax scheme will be replaced by what some people are calling “NHR 2.0,” more formally known as Tax Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation.

As the name suggests, the main difference between the Tax Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation, and the NHR program is that the new scheme requires applicants to earn income in certain professional categories. Another significant change is that, while the NHR program had uniform policies across Portugal’s entire national territory, the Tax Incentive scheme makes special provisions for the islands of Madeira and the Azores to define their own jobs or activities that the regime will apply to under their jurisdiction.

To qualify, individuals must fulfill the following conditions:

  •  They become tax residents in Portugal
  •  They have not been tax residents in the previous five years
  •  They earn income in certain professional categories

Individuals in the following categories will be eligible for the Tax Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation program:

  •  Teachers and scientists
  • People with qualified jobs according to the tax code and members of corporate bodies within the scope of contractual benefits for productive investment, such as:

• Activities carried out within the scope of the extractive industry and manufacturing industries
• Tourism, including activities of interest to tourism
• IT and related activities and services
• Agricultural, aquaculture, fish farming, farming and forestry activities
• Research and development and high technological intensity activities
• Information technologies and audiovisual and multimedia production
• Defense, environment, energy and telecommunication
• Activities of shared service centers

  •  Highly qualified professionals, which will be anyone performing one or more of the above activities and carrying them out in a qualifying entity
  •  People working for companies recognized by relevant government agencies — AICEP, EPE, IAPMEI, IP — or relevant to the national economy, working with investment etc.
  •  Research and development personnel who meet the definitions of the tax code
  •  People working for startups, certified by law as such
  •  People working in Madeira and Azores who meet the terms set by these regions

Beneficiaries of the NHR program or the Regressar Program will not be able to apply.

Benefits of “NHR 2.0” — the Tax Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation Program

Those who qualify for the “NHR 2.0” will benefit from a flat tax rate of 20 percent on eligible professional income arising from Portugal and possibly an exemption on professional foreign-sourced income. They will also have an exemption on the majority of foreign-sourced income, such as dividends, interest, capital gains, and rents. However, unlike under the existing NHR program, this excludes pensions. These benefits will last for a 10-year period.

In the coming months, it’s likely that we’ll see more detail, particularly about the jobs that will qualify in Madeira and the Azores, and we’ll likely get a clearer indication of the operational characteristics of the program. Global Citizen Solutions will keep you up-to-date with any developments related to the end of NHR and the implementation of the Tax Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation Program.

How Can Global Citizen Solutions Help You?

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique migration consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship by investment solutions for international families. With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we have helped hundreds of clients worldwide acquire citizenship, residence visas, or homes while diversifying their portfolios with robust investments. 

We guide you from start to finish, taking you beyond your citizenship or residency by investment application. 

Frequently Asked Questions about NHR 2.0

What is the new NHR for Portugal 2024?

The NHR is being replaced by the Tax Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation Program, which requires individuals to earn income in certain professional categories, including teachers, scientists, and research and development, in order to be eligible. The scheme has a flat tax rate of 20 percent on professional income generated in Portugal, as well as exemption on the majority of foreign-sourced income, such as dividends, interest, capital gains, and rents.

Is Portugal getting rid of NHR?

Yes, the NHR is ending. Some people are still eligible to apply by March 31, 2024, and others have a deadline of March 31, 2025, depending on their tax residency status and meeting other eligibility requirements. The scheme is being replaced by the Tax Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation Program, which provides similar benefits but will be applicable to a smaller proportion of expats.

What is replacing NHR?

The Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) program is being replaced by a new tax regime known as the Tax Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation Program, which will provide a flat tax rate of 20 percent on professional income as well as exemption on the majority of foreign-sourced income, such as dividends, interest, capital gains, and rents. It will be available to people in certain

professional categories who become tax residents in Portugal and have not been tax residents in Portugal in the previous five years.

Is the Portugal NHR Ending? Here’s All You Need To ...
More Info arrow icon
Full Guide to NHR Portugal Tax Regime: Non Habitual Resid...
More Info arrow icon
Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident Scheme is Perfect for In...
More Info arrow icon
Portugal’s NHR – Navigator
More Info arrow icon