UK citizens are obliged to appoint a tax representative

On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union, and a transitional period was established until December 31, 2020 during which the United Kingdom would continue to apply, and be subjected to, EU law.

Following the end of the transition period, the UK became a third country.

Given this, from January 1, 2021, the need arose for UK citizens (individual taxpayers and businesses) with fiscal residence in the UK to be designated a tax representative according to Article 19(6) of the Portuguese General Tax Law (LGT), particularly for the purpose of personal income tax (IRS) or corporate income tax (IRC).

Such appointment is mandatory for natural and legal persons who, under the law, are subject to compliance with obligations or intend to exercise their rights with the Portuguese tax authority (Autoridade Tributária).

In view of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the possible constraints on the regularisation of the situation given the total universe of taxpayers and existing deadlines, Order 514/2020.XXII was approved, which determines a transitional regime for the fulfilment of the obligation to appoint a tax representative for residents of the United Kingdom.

According to Order 514/2020.XXII, the following was stipulated:

▪ The designation of a tax representative by citizens and legal persons who are registered with the tax authority (Autoridade Tributária) data base and have an address in the United Kingdom, can be done from January 1, 2021 until June 30, 2021, without penalty;

▪ Until the appointment of a representative, mail shall continue to be sent to the UK address of the taxable person registered with the tax authority;

▪ With regards to new registrations and the start of a business, as well as changes of address to the UK, from January 1, 2021 the appointment of a tax representative is mandatory, according to what is legally established.

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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