Taxman tightens ‘control’ over Portugal’s ‘laughing millionaires’

After news in parliament that Portugal’s super-rich were paying 500 times less tax than they should, a new regime is coming into effect that will markedly tighten controls.

As of today (Wednesday May 11), the €5 million-a-year ceiling for earnings that left thousands of VIPs operating pretty much according to how they felt is now being cut back to €750,000.

Anyone earning more than that per year can now expect the taxman breathing down his or her neck for the next four years, explains Económico.

And the rule that allows a property ceiling of €25 million is also being slashed to €5 million.

As the financial website explains, even if taxpayers’ wealth somehow suddenly reduces, the four-year period for special attention will be maintained.

The new rules are part of a “vast legislative package which seeks to reinforce fiscal transparency and give tax inspectors more means to combat tax evasion by those who use fiscal havens”, explains the site – stressing that “up until now” authorities have only managed to identify 240 high wealth individuals, either due to the fact that they earn more than €5 million-a-year, or own more than €25 million in property.

Dropping the bar will see thousands more ‘high wealth individuals’ suddenly come under the radar – and go some way towards redressing the situation explained in parliament by former director general of taxes Azevedo Simões in which he explained that a “privileged handful of taxpayers” have managed, until now, to “distort democracy and divert millions from State coffers” (click here).

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