TAX CREDITS for charitable gifts for individuals are based on the ‘Estatuto de Mecenato’ (Patronage Statutes), which divides contributions according to the nature of the receiving charity. The amount of the gift is enhanced for tax purposes by a stipulated percentage, then a tax credit of 25 per cent is conceded on that amount.

Questions & Answers:

I give regularly to my church. Do I get any tax relief?

Yes, but only if you can substantiate your gift with a proper receipt. In other words, if the coins or bills that you put into the collection plate cannot be validated, they would not ordinarily qualify. On the other hand, if your church issues you with a receipt, you can report 130 per cent of that amount and receive a tax credit for 25 per cent of that amount. It goes without saying that such a practice would be both in the best interest of the church as well as the donor.

I want to make a donation

to a charity, but I do not know if the organisation is formally recognised. Can I still get

my tax credit?

Yes, if your gift is less than 498.80 euros, the organisation is not required to have previous recognition. However, in the case of an audit, it must be able to qualify. So, make sure that it conforms to the spirit of the law.

I give to charities in my

home country. Can I claim these contributions here

in Portugal?

No, tax credits are only for Portuguese-based entities. If you are giving to an international organisation, it must have an office in Portugal in order for the donation to qualify for a Portuguese tax credit.

Next: Tax benefits for disabilities

Contributed by Dennis Swing Greene

International fiscal consultant,