Portugal’s AT tax department has “detected another 921 private high net worth individuals” by cross referencing data now available through the ‘automatic exchange of banking information’.
Secretary of State for Fiscal Affairs António Mendonça told a parliamentary committee today that the system – which for example reports on bank balances held abroad by Portuguese, and on national territory by non-residents – has seen the super-rich-list more than double, involving a universe of taxpayers now of around 2000.
Explain reports, high net worth individuals are those whose salaries exceed 750,000 euros, or whose assets exceed a value of five million euros.
These ‘super rich’ are ‘accompanied by the Unidade de Grandes Contribuintes (or UGC, a tax unit focused solely on them).
The UGC also ‘accompanies businesses’. In 2018, for example, it managed what Jornal de Notícias calls a 595 million euro ‘correction’ – translating into a 17% increase in taxation levied on the year before.
Presenting this year’s report on the combat of fraud and tax evasion, António Mendonça stressed that 82 million euros that hadn’t been declared by taxpayers back in 2016 has now been detected in bank accounts held abroad.
But, in answer to questions, he added that the constant monitoring of high net worth individuals does not mean that they are automatically suspected of tax evasion.