Communication of lease contracts and electronic rental receipts

Significant changes have been carried out in the management and control of the lease contracts system in force, through dematerialisation, simplification and automation of procedures.

Since April 1, 2015, it is the landlords’ sole responsibility to notify the tax authority of the entry into lease contracts, subleases and its promissory contracts, including changes and termination.

This communication must be done until the end of the month after commencement of the lease, the sublease, any changes or termination or, in the case of a promissory contract, of making the leased asset available, by filling in the tax declaration Form 2 of the Stamp Duty.

With this communication, the presentation of a copy of the contract ceases to be mandatory, without prejudice to its delivery at the tax office if that is the intention of the landlord.

The tax declaration Form 2 must be delivered through electronic data transmission on the tax office portal Finanças.

Nevertheless, the reporting obligation may be fulfilled in any tax office if the landlord:

▪ Does not have (and it is not obliged to have) an electronic mailbox
▪ Has not earned in the previous year income that falls under category F (rental income) to an amount exceeding €838.44

The same applies to any landlord that has earned income under category F (rental income) and is 65 years of age and older on December 31 of the year prior to the one the income is concerned.
Regarding the landlord’s fiscal duties, there is the obligation to issue receipts in electronic format of the monthly rent paid by the tenant through the Finanças portal and according to the official form, under the terms of article 5, Ordinance 98-A/2015, of March 31.

If you are discharged of that obligation for not having an electronic mailbox or for not having earned in the previous year income under category F (rental income) in an amount exceeding €838.44, you can opt for issuing paper receipts. However, a statement must be delivered through the Finanças portal before January 31 indicating the income obtained in the last year, containing information about the annual amounts received, with the property identification and the taxpayer number of the tenant.

The obligation to issue electronic rental receipts came into force in May but landlords can continue to issue paper receipts until November without paying any fines under an order signed by the Secretary of State for Tax Affairs (Order 101/2015-XIX, of April 30). The government has thus given landlords more time to adjust to the new reality.

It should be noted, however, that landlords must issue the electronic rental receipts of the months between January and October, when they issue the electronic receipt for November.

By Dr Eduardo Serra Jorge
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Dr Eduardo Serra Jorge is founding member, senior partner and CEO of lawyers firm Eduardo Serra Jorge & Maria José Garcia – Sociedade de Advogados, R.L., created in 1987.
In his column, he addresses legal issues affecting foreign residents in Portugal.
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