In recent years, Portugal has sought to position itself not only as a tourist destination offering sunshine and beautiful beaches but also as a serious contender for one of Europe’s most innovative centers for new businesses. Government incentives and careful planning have bolstered the country’s economy, creating a stable environment for companies and individual traders.
Recent clarification on the treatment of cryptocurrency in Portugal means that the small Western European nation is now also leading the way in terms of Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrency regulation in Portugal
Officially, Portugal follows EU guidelines on cryptocurrency regulation. However, until late 2022 there had been no official communication on official guidelines on Bitcoin.
Official EU guidance on cryptocurrency stipulates that gains from buying or selling Bitcoin should not be subject to tax. Specific legislation on Bitcoin has been left for individual member-states to define.
This document from 2016 (PDF in Portuguese) defines the official treatment of cryptocurrency in Portugal.
Is Portugal Bitcoin-friendly?
Yes, recent clarification has confirmed the legal status of Bitcoin by the Portuguese tax authorities (Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira). An official statement was given to a company planning to begin mining Bitcoin in the country, which was then subsequently published in the Journal de Negocios. In it, the financial authorities affirm that Bitcoin will be treated the same as any other currency.
Portugal Bitcoin tax
Bitcoin can generate income in a variety of different ways, as with any other currency:
- Gains from the sale and purchase of Bitcoin
- Profit from the commission charged in services for the acquisition of Bitcoin
- Profit from the sale of products for Bitcoin
According to the Portuguese tax authorities, the exchange of Bitcoin “constitutes an on-demand, VAT-free exercise of services”. This means that any gains made from the purchase or sale of Bitcoin are not taxed, nor is the exchange of Bitcoin for other currencies.
Payments in Bitcoin to individuals in Portugal are also not taxed. However, any companies that deal in Bitcoin will be liable to tax on capital gains (paid on a scale between 28% and 35%).
It is also important to note that Portugal has no tax on inheritance, wealth, or gift tax for residents.
Bitcoin and the Portugal NHR regime
Portugal’s non-habitual resident tax regime (NHR) should also be of interest to Bitcoin traders. Tax is usually paid on a sliding scale in Portugal, although those who declare tax residency in the country can also benefit from the NHR regime, which allows individuals of high cultural and economic worth to enjoy lucrative tax reductions and exemptions.
NHR Ending: October 2023 Update
The Portuguese Government submitted the State Budget Proposal for 2024, and it includes the changes that determine the end of the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime.
This is the initial version, which will still be subject to debates and votes, but which, given the majority that the Government party holds in the Assembly, cannot and should not be ignored. In effect, the proposed change has the following consequences from 01/01/2024:
- Anyone who already has the NHR at the time of entry into force maintains the regime under the same terms until completing ten years of benefiting from the status
- Anyone who meets the conditions for registration as non-habitual residents on 31 December 2023, as well as holders of a residence visa valid on that date, will be able to register within the deadline available (until 31 March 2024) and benefit from the scheme.
The final vote on the budget law will take place on 29 November 2023. Until then, we will closely monitor the evolution of this topic. You can find more information in our article: Is the Portugal NHR Program Ending?
Portugal Bitcoin exchange
One of the easiest ways to acquire Bitcoin is through online exchange platforms such as Kraken or Coinbase. For those who prefer to use a Portugal Bitcoin ATM, there are two located in Lisbon.
In theory, all banks in Portugal accept Bitcoin, as the Portuguese financial authorities have officially declared it as the same as any other currency. However, some banks in the past few years have been known to block transactions of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, supposedly after allegations of fraud. Millenium BCP and Activobank are two such banks that are alleged to have blocked cryptocurrency transactions.
Santander Totta branches in Portugal have also allegedly rejected Bitcoin transactions but later backtracked on this decision. Another option for those looking for Bitcoin banking options might consider using online banks such as Revolut.
Golden Visa program and cryptocurrency in Portugal
The citizenship by investment program allows individuals from outside of Europe to obtain Portuguese residency by investing upwards of €250,000 in businesses in the country. The best part is companies like Global Citizen Solutions accept payment in cryptocurrencies for the Golden Visa services. At present, you can pay in Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum, and the payment itself is processed on the portal Coingate. Do note that many companies like Global Citizen Solutions don’t have a direct point of sale for crypto set up on the website.
The Portugal Golden Visa program has recently undergone substantial changes. The new legislation is now in effect, and it's crucial to note that real estate investments are no longer a valid qualifying option within the program. However, several attractive investment routes still maintain their eligibility for the program. Please refer to our comprehensive guide: Portugal Golden Visa Ultimate Guide.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA - OCTOBER 2023
The Portugal Golden Visa program has recently undergone substantial changes. The new legislation is now in effect, and it's crucial to note that real estate investments are no longer a valid qualifying option within the program.
However, several attractive investment routes still maintain their eligibility for the program. Please refer to our comprehensive guide: Portugal Golden Visa Ultimate Guide.
Exploring Visa and Immigration Options for Portugal
If you're considering making the move to Portugal, it's essential to be informed about the various visa and residency options available. The Golden Visa Portugal program is an attractive option for many, offering residency to investors and their families. For those eyeing retirement in this beautiful country, the Retirement Visa (D7) is tailored for you. Digital nomads can take advantage of both short and long stay options with the Nomad Visa (D8). Meanwhile, the NHR - Non Habitual Tax regime provides significant tax benefits for new residents.
For the entrepreneurial spirit, Portugal offers the Entrepreneurship/startup Visa (D2) - Start-up Visa (open company) tailored for those looking to establish their businesses in the country. Those with specialized skills can explore the Work visa for highly qualified employees (D3). Additionally, if you have Portuguese ancestry, you might be eligible for Citizenship by descent.
However, moving to a new country isn't just about visas. If you're thinking of buying property, our guide on Buying Property in Portugal can offer invaluable insights. Dive deeper into the immigration process with our comprehensive Portugal immigration guide. For Americans specifically looking to relocate, we have curated information on Americans moving to Portugal. Lastly, one can't forget the importance of the NIF (Tax Registration Number), a crucial step in any relocation process.
Why choose Global Citizen Solutions for your Immigration Visa?
GLOBAL APPROACH BY LOCAL EXPERTS
- GCS has offices located across Portugal.
- Members of the US-Portugal and UK-Portugal Chambers of Commerce in Portugal, and the Investment Migration Council (IMC).
- Our expert team can help you throughout your journey to secure your Visa.
100% APPROVAL RATE
- Our successful track record in applications provides reassurance to applicants.
- We have helped clients from more than 35 countries secure residency in Portugal.
- With a single channel of communication, our approach ensures that you have complete clarity on your application.
- Our BeGlobal® Onboarding System allows for a total flow of information.
TRANSPARENCY AND PRIVACY
- Our pricing is clear and detailed, you will not face any hidden costs.
- All data is stored within a GDPR-compliant database on a secure SSL-encrypted server.
Frequently asked questions about bitcoin in Portugal
Is Bitcoin legal in Portugal?
Yes, Bitcoin is legal in Portugal and receives the same treatment as any other “real” currency.
Is Bitcoin taxed in Portugal?
Any profit made from the purchase or sale of cryptocurrency is not taxed in Portugal, nor are payments made to individuals in Bitcoin.
Where in Portugal can I buy Bitcoin?
You can use online platforms to buy Bitcoin, or also one of the two Bitcoin ATMs in Lisbon.
Is Portugal a Bitcoin-friendly country?
Yes, the Portuguese government has demonstrated a commitment in recent years to making Bitcoin-friendly policies.