Portugal VAT FAQs

Portugal VAT FAQs

1. Why am I paying a Value Added Tax (VAT) on the Conference Registration Fee?

Attendees are paying a VAT on the registration fee because it is required by the laws and regulations of the European Union (EU) and its member states. They establish that VAT must be paid on the fees in the country where the congress is held. 

2. Can the VAT be recovered?

Possibly. Only companies/institutions/organizations from the EU and from Non-EU countries with a reciprocity agreement, (Liechtenstein and Switzerland), can claim back the Portuguese VAT. Companies/institutions/organizations from other countries may request a refund when they present a certificate issued by their tax administration stating their status as a taxable entity, and also stating that Portuguese companies/institutions/organizations have the right to obtain a refund of any taxes paid in their respective country. 

To recover the VAT you must provide the details of your company/institution/organization (name, address, VAT number or Tax ID) for all expense invoices and submit all original documentation to your company/institution/organization for the processing of the VAT refund request.

Please note: in Portugal the VAT is not recoverable on certain expenses such as: accommodation, food and drink, travel expenses (except in the case of specific events – where the expenses are related to the organization of an event to promote their business: 50% VAT is recoverable when the expenses are related to the participation in an event to promote their business: 25% VAT recoverable) entertainment expenses, tobacco, etc.

3. What process should companies follow to recover the VAT?

a. EU Company/Institution/Organization

EU companies/institutions/organizations must contact the Tax Administration of their own country for instructions regarding the conditions and process to follow for reclaiming the Portuguese VAT. There are also minimum VAT amounts that must be met.

The refund must relate to the previous calendar year and the amount may not be less than €50. If the refund application relates to the current year and to a period equal to three or more consecutive months, the amount for which the application is made may not be less than €400; if the application relates to a shorter period, the amount may not be less than €50 and the period must end on 31 December of the previous year. 

The application must be submitted to the Portuguese Tax Authorities by 30 September N+1 for expenses incurred in N. 

b. Non-EU Company/Institution/Organization (with reciprocity agreement)

Non-EU companies/institutions/organizations must appoint a Portuguese fiscal representative to file a VAT refund. A proxy must be provided to the tax authorities. The application is made on Portugal’s form 1496. The form must be completed in Portuguese and in Euro.

Non-EU companies/institutions/organizations must ensure their application is received no later than 30 September N+1 for expenses incurred in N.

There are also minimum VAT amounts that must be met. If the application relates to a period of less than one calendar year but not less than three months, the amount for which application is made may not be less than €400; if the application relates to a period equal to a calendar year or to the remainder of a calendar year, the amount may not be less than €50.

More information can be found on the Portugal Tax Administration website