Portugal’s richest citizen doges sky-high rates bill
Portugal’s richest citizen Roman Abramovich has seen the inconvenient story of his impounded Quinta do Lago mansion morph into a property tax shock.
“Putin’s friend dodges tax man”, proclaims tabloid Correio da Manhã today, explaining that the sumptuous holiday home in Quinta do Lago – which Mr Abramvich appears to have tried to offload for €10 million two weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine – is still ‘registered’ with the authorities as “a plot of building land”.
By law, ‘owning company Millhouse Views LLC’ (a subsidiary of Millhouse LLC, purportedly detained by Mr Abramovich) should have ‘communicated’ the conclusion of building works, so that the land registry would be able to update the plot’s situation. It is no longer a ‘plot of building land’ but a ‘dwelling’ – and a very sumptuous one at that. As such Millhouse Views LLC should be paying vastly increased annual rates.
Another curious factor that seems to have emerged is that Millhouse Views hasn’t even requested a habitation licence.
Building permission was conceded by Loulé city council in 2018/2019; building work was carried out shortly afterwards, and concluded in 2021.
However one tries to work out the sums, Millhouse Views should have requested a habitation licence by now, and communicated the conclusion of building works.
Says CM, documentation lodged at the AT tax authority associates Millhouse Views with an address in Almancil – but a contact made to that address brought the information that Millhouse Views “was not based there”.
So what is the difference between the annual rates currently due from Millhouse Views, and those it would have to pay if it had updated tax authorities on the property’s lavish transformation?
CM describes it as “abyssal”.
Right now, as a ‘plot of land for construction’, the two property tax values (IMI and AIMI) come to €18,247. But bearing in mind the land has been developed to create a property with the market value of €10 million, IMI and AIMI combined bring the annual ‘rates’ payable to €75,800.
It could even be more, but the AIMI is reduced on the basis that Millhouse Views is based in Delaware, USA, explains CM.
Observador has looked at the situation and come up with different figures. The online suggests Millhouse Views would pay only €2,137 if the land was still just a plot of building land, and €72,800 as a property worth €10 million.
Whatever the case, the bottom line is fairly grim, given that Mr Abramovich is believed to be cash-strapped due to international and EU sanctions brought in to try to stymy the Russian war machine.
CM explains: “Owners of frozen assets cannot sell them, or give them away, but the duty of paying taxes and other dues is maintained”.
So far, Roman Abramovich – whose very Portuguese nationality is under investigation – appears to be the only ‘Russian oligarch’ with property identified in Portugal.
Just before Russia invaded Ukraine, he was described in the international press as trying to sell various properties “terrified of being sanctioned” because of his perceived links to Vladimir Putin.