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Legal alert no. 8

This regime is only applicable to the debts already known (by the Portuguese Tax Authority or by the Portuguese Social Security), diverging from the regime previously approved in 2013, which was also applicable to the non-liquidated debts.

The accession of the taxpayer to this new regime shall be required until 20 December 2016, by electronic means, in the Portuguese Tax Authority website (www.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt) or in the Portuguese Social Security website (www.seg-social.pt/inicio), depending on the entity responsible for the debt recovery, or in both.

In the accession act the taxperson will choose the full payment or the payment by instalments, within a specified period. In the case of tax debts, the choice is made separately in relation to each debt and in the case of social contributions debts the choice is made in relation to the whole debt.

It should further be noted that, in case of tax debts, the accession will only takes effects if all full payments and all payments of initial instalments foreseen in the accession are punctually made, until 20 December 2016, regardless any legal regime on the enforcement of debts’ suspension. On the other hand, in relation to the social contributions debts, the payment deadline is extended until 30 December 2016.

In relation to tax debts, the present regime covers the debts previously liquidated until the date on which the present Decree enters into force, whose taxable event has occurred until 31 December 2015, provided that the legal recovery deadline has expired until 31 May 2016. The scope of application of this regime does not include the extraordinary contributions, such as the extraordinary contribution on the energetic sector and the extraordinary contribution on the banking sector.

Article 4 of Decree-Law establishes that the full payment of the debts, covered by this regime, at the taxperson own initiative, until 20 December 2016, determines the waiver of default interest, compensatory interest and charges related to the tax execution procedure. In the case where this payment includes all tax debts, the taxperson will benefit from an attenuation of the payment of fines related to the non-compliance with the obligation to pay taxes.

In relation to the tax debts’ payment by monthly instalments, the automatic deferral of the debts’ payment, until 150 equal instalments, depends on the payment, by the taxperson, of the minimum number of initial instalments representing at least 8% of the total value of the instalment plan, until 20 December 2016. After this payment, the subsequent instalments will fall due from January 2017.

Please also note that, in case of payment by instalments, it will be applied reductions in the default interest, compensatory interest and charges related to the tax execution procedure, which cannot be cumulated with reductions established in other decrees.

In relation to the social contributions debts, the present regime covers the social contributions debts whose legal recovery deadline has expired until 31 December 2015.

Similarly to the regime established to tax debts, the full payment of social contributions debts, determines the waiver of default interest, compensatory interest and charges related to the tax execution procedure, as well as the attenuation of the payment of fines related to the non-compliance with the obligation to pay social contributions. However, as above mentioned, in the case of social contributions debts, the payment may be made until 30 December 2016. 

As an alternative to the full payment of social contributions debts, the taxperson may also choose the deferral of the debt payment until 150 equal and monthly instalments and the taxperson shall pay at least 8% of the value of the outstanding capital covered by this new regime until 30 December 2016.

Also in relation to the payment by instalments of social contributions debts, the taxperson will benefit from a reduction of the default interest, compensatory interest and charges related to the tax execution procedure, in accordance with article 8 of the Decree-Law.

After the fulfilment of these instalment plans, the tax or social contribution status of the tax person, as applicable, will be considered regularized.  

Finally, it should also be noted that the payment by monthly instalments, both of the tax debts or social contributions debts, does not depend on the provision of additional collateral and the debts covered by the instalment plans, regardless their tax or social contribution nature, will be fully chargeable if the taxperson does not pay three due instalments.

The present Decree-Law enters into force in 4 November 2016.

To access the full text of the Decree-Law, please click on the following hyperlink - https://dre.pt/application/file/75639947

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