Buying a property in Portugal – TAXES Part 2

By Dra Cristina Marcelino [email protected]

In her monthly column, lawyer Cristina Marcelino will be presenting legal advice to readers of the Algarve Resident. In 2004, she set up her own legal practice in Lagos and since then has been dealing with different areas including private law, property matters and company and business taxes.

Buying a property could be a dream come true or … a complete nightmare.

Through our years of legal practise, we have come to know people who, by one reason or another, found their dream had become a source of endless problems.

In this article, we will focus on the cost implications of purchasing a property.

Firstly, there are the so-called purchase costs:

a) IMT (Imposto Municipal sobre

    as Transmissões)

b) Stamp Duty (Imposto de Selo)

c) Notary costs and registrations

d) Legal fees

IMT, which before 2004 was called SISA, is a municipal tax, a percentage based on the purchase value, with a different chart for permanent residencies or second-homes.

Stamp duty is a fixed amount of 0.8% of the purchase value.

Notary costs will vary from office to office, or through the new system Casa Pronta, but one can assume costs averaging €450 for both the deed and the registrations.

The legal fees also vary from lawyer to lawyer. The difficulty of the process and time spent should be taken into consideration. A detailed quote is always handed to our clients beforehand.

Last but not least, and to us the most important, is that your lawyer does check and get the written confirmation of any possible leans, (registered or not) charges and non paid taxes from the previous owners.

Beware: if condominium fees are not settled before the purchase deed, the new buyer will become liable for them. The same might happen with non paid taxes, such as rates, and to fight against these cases may turn into a big problem.

The rates subject alone justifies a single article and we will get back to this in future columns.

But, in the meantime, any questions/comments or clarifications can be addressed through our email at [email protected].