Banking, Money and Taxes in Portugal

Expats moving to Portugal will find that the country has a modern and efficient banking system which makes it easy to manage one's finances. 

Banks in Portugal offer a wide range of accounts and financial services including current and savings accounts, joint accounts and business accounts. Online banking is now a standard feature with all accounts in Portugal. 

Portuguese banks are generally open from 8.30am to 3pm from Monday to Friday. Certain banks extend opening hours till 4pm on Fridays and some open for a limited time on Saturday mornings. 

Money in Portugal

Since 1999, as was the case with the majority of EU-member states, Portugal has used the Euro (EUR) as its official currency. One euro is divided into 100 cents.

  • Notes: EUR 5, EUR 10, EUR 20, EUR 50, EUR 100, EUR 200 and EUR 500

  • Coins: EUR 1, EUR 2 and 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 20 cents and 50 cents. 

Banking in Portugal

Portuguese banks are part of a national grouping of banks called Multibanco. This makes accounts easily accessible and account holders may use a Multibanco debit card in ATMs across the country and for buying most goods. 

Opening a bank account in Portugal

Expats will find that opening a bank account in Portugal is fairly straightforward. Depending on where an expat is from they will simply need to visit a bank branch in Portugal with certain documents including proof of identity and proof of address.

Credit cards and ATMs in Portugal

Credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted throughout Portugal. Transaction charges do apply for those using international cards in Portugal. 

ATMs can be easily found in most town centres and urban areas. ATMs in Portugal will accept major foreign cards. They also tend to provide better exchange rates than those offered by bureaux de change and are therefore a convenient way to access money in Portugal, especially for those without a Portuguese bank account. 

The Multibanco system in Portugal is lauded for allowing its users a wide variety of conveniences. In addition to normal withdrawal and transfer services, at a Multibanco ATM expats can:
  • Pay certain utility bills

  • Load talk time onto mobile phones

  • Pay income tax and value-added tax

  • Purchase concert tickets

  • Pay motor tolls

Taxes in Portugal

Portugal taxes residents and non-residents differently. To be considered a resident for tax purposes, a person must reside in the country for 183 days of the year or have a permanent home in Portugal. If someone is considered a resident they are liable to be taxed on their worldwide income.

Expats may be concerned about being taxed in Portugal and a home country, but in many cases treaties exist which will prevent double taxation. Often, becoming a resident of Portugal can exempt expats from higher overseas taxes. To find the most advantageous tax plan, it is a good idea to consult an international tax planner.

Resident expats working for a Portuguese employer will have their income tax automatically deducted from their salary on a sliding scale based on their worldwide income. Non-residents are taxed only on income derived from business in Portugal, usually at a flat rate.

The tax year in Portugal runs from 1 January to 31 December each year. Expats are responsible for submitting income tax returns between 1 February and 15 March for earnings derived from salaried employment and/or pensions, and between 16 March and 30 April for all other sources of income.

Married couples should submit a joint tax return.

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