Cryptocurrency trading: Portugal overview
In recent years Portugal has positioned itself as one of the most economically innovative countries in Europe. When it comes to cryptocurrency in Portugal, the situation is no different.
Recent statements released by the financial authorities have clarified the official stance of cryptocurrency laws, going a long way towards cementing Portugal’s place as one of the top countries for cryptocurrency traders and investors.
Economic stability and innovation makes Portugal a hotspot for businesses
Since the financial crisis, successive governments in Portugal have introduced a number of incentives to encourage investment in the country. The result? Today Portugal’s economy is in better shape than it has been for decades.
This is largely due to a few very successful measures that have brought billions of euros worth of investment to Portugal, as well as a sudden surge in popularity in the country’s tourism sector.
The Golden Visa program, in particular, has been responsible for at least €4 bn euros worth of investment in Portuguese real estate, and the non-habitual tax regime has helped to bring many professionals of high cultural and economic worth to the country.
Low living costs and high quality of life make Portugal an excellent place to live and start a business and has attracted many entrepreneurs and professionals from across the globe. Both the economy and the real estate market have been undergoing periods of stable growth, and are forecast to continue in the coming years.
Cryptocurrency laws in Portugal
What are the cryptocurrency regulations in Portugal?
The Portuguese law officially follows EU regulation on cryptocurrency, which stipulates that gains from the buying or selling of cryptocurrency should not be subject to VAT. Beyond this, there is no other specific legislation on cryptocurrency.
This document from 2016 (in Portuguese) outlines the official treatment of cryptocurrency in Portugal.
Recent clarification to cryptocurrency law in Portugal
The legal status of cryptocurrency in Portugal was clarified in a statement by the Portuguese tax authorities (Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira) given to a company that is planning to begin mining bitcoins in the country. The statement, which was subsequently published in the Journal de Negocios reaffirms that cryptocurrency should be treated the same as any other currency in Portugal.
Cryptocurrency is tax-free in Portugal
Cryptocurrencies, as with other types of currency, can generate income in a number of different ways:
- Gains from the sale and purchase of coins
- Profit from commissions charged in services relating to the acquisition of use of cryptocurrency
- Profit derived from the sale of products or services for cryptocurrency
The Portuguese tax authorities are quoted as saying that cryptocurrency “An exchange of cryptocurrency for ‘real’ currency constitutes an on-demand, VAT-free exercise of services.”
This means that any profit from the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency in Portugal will not be taxed, nor will the exchange of cryptocurrency for other currencies.
The authorities have also clarified that no income tax must be paid by individuals who receive payments in cryptocurrency, however, companies registered in Portugal dealing in cryptocurrency are taxed on capital gains (between 28% and 35%).
In Portugal, tax is paid on a sliding scale, although many professionals considering moving tax residency to Portugal can also benefit from the non-habitual tax regime (NHR), which allows for exemptions and reductions in tax over a 10-year period for individuals of high cultural or economic worth.
Why is Portugal best for cryptocurrency traders?
In many countries around the world, cryptocurrency investment and trading are facing ever-tightening regulation. This can cause problems specifically for investors in the US, where having American residence can create difficulties, especially during the coin mining process.
Cryptocurrency regulation around the world
Cryptocurrencies have come under increased scrutiny in many countries in recent years, particularly in countries such as the US, there have been calls for increased regulation.
As a result, ICO’s (initial coin offerings) will not accept those with US addresses or residences. For this reason, it makes sense to obtain residency or even citizenship in a cryptocurrency-friendly country like Portugal.
The non-habitual tax regime means Portugal is tax-friendly for investors
The Portuguese government has brought in a number of different incentives to ensure that the country offers investors optimal conditions to succeed.
This includes the NHR regime, which allows special allowances for startups and investors of high cultural and economic worth.
Portuguese law is cryptocurrency-friendly, meaning that any individual profit from the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency in Portugal will not be taxed, nor is the exchange of cryptocurrency for other currency.
Insurance against future change
The Golden Visa program in Portugal means that nationals from outside of the EU can obtain citizenship through investment.
In order to acquire residency and subsequently citizenship in Portugal, it is not required that investors relocate to the country, as the Golden Visa program has a “stay requirement” (number of days required to maintain residency) of just 7 days per year.
This can be particularly useful for cryptocurrency traders, as it can provide extra security against future regulation in their home countries. Applicants can invest in the Golden Visa scheme as a way to ensure they will have more opportunities open to them in the future, for both themselves and their children.
How does Portuguese law apply to cryptocurrency investors?
Income tax for cryptocurrency in Portugal
Individuals who earn a salary in cryptocurrency is not charged income tax. However, companies based in Portugal who pay their employees in cryptocurrency are required to pay income tax.
Income tax in Portugal is based upon activity and the profit made from it. This means that while bitcoin transactions themselves are not taxed, if the transfer of cryptocurrency is associated with a product or a service, then an invoice must be issued and the service must also be taxed.
VAT on cryptocurrency in Portugal
According to statements released by the Portuguese tax authorities, cryptocurrency under Portuguese law should be treated exactly the same as any other currency, which means that cryptocurrency exchanges are not subject to VAT.
Capital gains tax
Gains made from the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency is not taxed, as is the same with any other currency. However, companies which offer services relating to cryptocurrencies are taxed on capital gains, on a sliding scale between 28% and 35%.
The non-habitual resident tax regime
Investors in Portugal who have not been tax residents in the country for the previous 5 years can benefit from the non-habitual tax regime.
Under the NHR, you may be able to monetize your personal cryptocurrency profits in Portugal, exempt from capital gains tax.
Click here to find out more about the NHR regime in Portugal and whether you are eligible for tax exemptions or reductions.
Golden Visa program and cryptocurrency in Portugal
The Golden Visa program in Portugal is another added benefit to investing in Portugal.
The citizenship by investment program allows individuals from outside of Europe to obtain Portuguese residency through investing upwards of €350,000 in real estate, venture capital funds or businesses in the country.
After 5 years of continued investment in Portugal, investors can obtain a European passport, giving them the right to live and work anywhere in the Schengen area.
Dependents can also obtain residency permits, including spouses, parents, and children under the age of 18, or are in full-time education.
Key benefits of the Portugal Golden Visa program
Low stay requirement
- Applicants are only required to spend 7 days per year in Portugal, meaning that investors can continue living in their home country and do not need to relocate.
Insurance against future instability
- Having two passports provides security against future instability. Portugal has a stable government and economy, and making it an excellent choice for citizenship through investment.
Strong European passport
- The Golden Visa residence permit allows holders to live and do business in Europe, and with a Portuguese passport.
Freedom of travel
- A Portuguese passport allows you to travel to 183 countries worldwide without a visa.
Passport after 5 years
- The Portuguese Golden Visa program allows investors to acquire a passport after just 5 years, shorter than other popular programs in Greece (7 years) and Spain (10 years).
Range of affordable investment options
- Portugal has a dynamic market with a variety of investment options. The most popular choice when it comes to Golden Visa applications is an investment in real estate, but there are also many investment funds which fulfill the requirements of the program.
Not blacklisted by OECD
- Unlike many other programs, the Portugal Golden Visa is not blacklisted by the OECD.
Global Citizen Solutions
At Global Citizen Solutions we assist investors looking to apply for the Golden Visa program in Portugal.
We have a 100% success rate when it comes to Golden Visa applications, and have helped dozens of cryptocurrency traders.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency services in Portugal
Bitcoin ATMs in Portugal
There are a number of different places in Portugal where you can withdraw bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, including 3 bitcoin “ATMs” in Lisbon.
Cryptocurrency payment for services in Portugal
There has been a recent growth in businesses dealing with cryptocurrency in Portugal, one of which is utrust, which enables cryptocurrency payments for businesses.