The recently adopted Portuguese 2019 State Budget Law has provided for the following legislative amendments to Portuguese VAT which generally came into effect as of 1st January 2019:
Extension of the scope of the reduced 6% rate of VAT (5% in Madeira, 4% in Azores) to include:
- Traditional cane honey;
- Electronic books, newspapers, general interest magazines and other periodicals predominantly devoted to scientific, educational, literary, artistic, cultural, recreational or sports matters (excluding publications that wholly or predominantly consist of video or music content);
- Hair prostheses for cancer patients, as well as leasing services of other types of prostheses, devices, equipment and products for cancer patients and persons with disabilities;
- Utensils and other equipment wholly or mainly used in help and rescue operations by the Portuguese National Institute of Medical Emergency;
- Passenger transport in maritime-tourist activities;
- Provision of cleaning and social services carried out in the context of fire prevention as well as in agricultural and forestry operations; and
- Admission to singing, dancing, musical and bullfighting performances, theatre, cinema, and the circus.
As of 1st January 2019, new rules came into effect under recently implemented EU Directives:
- The Vouchers Directive (Council Directive (EU) 2016/1065) introduces rules for the harmonised VAT treatment of vouchers (coupons) in the EU; and
- EU Directive 2017/2455 provides for EU-wide simplification rulesfor companies carrying out cross-border business-to-consumer sales of electronic services
Legislative authorisations – the Portuguese government has also been authorised by the EU Commission to amend certain VAT rules throughout the year which include the following:
- Extending the scope of the reduced 13% rate of VAT to beverages that are currently excluded; and
- Application of the reduced 6% rate of VAT to the fixed component of electricity and natural gas supplies, which do not exceed specified maximum limits.
If you would like more advice on how these developments impact your business, please do get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you.