Lower corporate tax to attract investors

Portugal’s Minister of Finance, Vítor Gaspar, has said that the success of the Portuguese bailout programme depends on Portugal being able to attract foreign investment, and mentioned that the IRC (corporate tax) code reformation may imply lowering nominal and effective tax rates, possibly for all companies.

Speaking during the swearing-in ceremony for the IRC Reform Commission (Comissão da Revisão do IRC), to be presided over by former CDS party leader António Lobo Xavier, Gaspar hinted at including a “reduction of the effective corporate tax rates applied to companies”, as well as “redefining and enlarging the common tax base”, along with a “revaluation of the tax benefits system”. Gaspar made no comment, however, about a suggestion presented by the Minister of Economy Álvaro Santos Pereira,to temporarily reduce IRC by 10% for all new investments (see Algarve Resident edition of November 30, 2012).

Lobo Xavier said he has “listened attentively to what has been said by the Minister of Economy”, assuming that if the goal is to increase Portugal’s fiscal competitiveness, nominal tax rates for IRC will have to drop significantly, claiming for a “flexible and pragmatic reformation”.

The new Commission calendar states that by the end of February, the broad guidelines for the corporate tax reform will be presented, so a project can be publicly discussed during the summer and a law proposal delivered to the government in September.

The government intends to implement new IRC laws in the 2014 State Budget.