Money Matters

Vaughan Willmore speaks to Ricardo Chaves, owner of All Finance Matters.

I’m sure we’d all agree Portugal is a wonderful place to live and any frustrations are few and far between. Yet one point that’s often mentioned is the bureaucracy we sometimes encounter. I recently interviewed Ricardo Chaves of accountancy firm All Finance Matters (AFM).

When did you start AFM and how has it changed since?
I started as a sole trader in 2013 with the first staffing additions joining in January 2015. Today, we have 29 people, including seven certified accountants. Although the mission is the same, the team is now more talented and experienced.

What help can an accountant provide?
An accountant offers peace of mind. They can submit tax declarations for you, make sure you pay the legal minimum, and deal with any audits, and the issuing of such things as tax residency certificates.

How has the pandemic AFFECTED things?
The workload has increased and changed our business because we now assist clients who needed services that weren’t part of the original portfolio, like submitting grant applications. The team has adapted well and it’s now normal to meet clients from all over world via Zoom.

When is the Portuguese tax year?
It’s the same as the calendar year, but you can also use a split year treatment, For example, if 2020 was your first year of residency, you need to submit a tax return for the period you were in Portugal (from ? to 31-12-2020). The same happens to those ceasing their residency. They need to submit a tax return from 01-01-2020 until the date they left.

What is IRS and when do you submit this?
IRS (Imposto Sobre Rendimentodas Pessoas Singulares) is personal income tax and returns must be submitted online by no later than June 30. If you are a tax resident of Portugal, you need to declare your worldwide income. If you are a non-resident but received income from a Portuguese source, for instance, salary, property rental, etc, you need to submit the declaration with your Portuguese-sourced income. The tax bill is normally issued in July, and payment is due August 31.

What are the timescales for 2020 tax returns?
Returns must be submitted online by June 30 through the ‘Portal das Finanças’, so ensure you have a password to access the Portal. If you don’t, request a new password immediately. Remember, tax residents must declare their worldwide income. For non-residents, then irrespective of residency, if you have income from a Portuguese source, you must submit a declaration here.

How do you register for the tax portal?
You go on the site and request a password and they’re then usually issued by post within five working days. There’s s an English language document on the Portal das Financas site at, . Your accountant can also do this for you.

If you want to become self-employed, how do you set up green receipts?
Registration is normally made through the tax portal and you need to have an IBAN (International Bank Account Number). Registration is not that simple. If you’re not used to doing it, it’s advisable to seek advice. There are several aspects to be considered, for instance, if you will be exempt from VAT or not; if you want to be taxed on the simplified regime; if you will be purchasing services from the EU, etc. Also, you must register for your social security number and apply for a 12-month exemption, if this is your first activity registration.

Recently, we’ve noticed many freelancers moving to Portugal. When they become fiscal residents, irrespective of whether they are non-habitual residents and regardless of whether their income is obtained in Portugal or abroad, these professionals must begin their professional activity as self-employed persons and hence become subject to the respective tax regime.

Ricardo will be answering your questions in future editions. Please send questions to

AFM can be contacted at:

+351 281 029 059


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