Charting a couple's move from London to Portugal, tales, adventures and moving advice

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Red Tape in Portugal

Posted on May 25, 2010 by Ben Algarve

Portuguese “red tape” and paperwork is once again the thing consuming our time and energy at the moment.

When we first moved over here several months ago, it was right at the top of our priority list to get all the paperwork in order. I am not sure quite how it moved back down the list, but I think it is something to do with the fact that by the time we had managed to get the pretend fiscal number our bank made up for us changed into a real one (don’t even ask!) and fought for several months to have internet and phone connected (which was so difficult because of the aforementioned moody fiscal number,) we didn’t have the spirit or inclination to do any more at that point.

We found some sand, buried our heads firmly in it, and without mentioning it to each other, both independently agreed not to speak of it again until we got towards a deadline.

Red Tape in Portugal

Calculating Tax and Other Red Tape in Portugal

Now the time has come to once again start visiting a range of government buildings where people frown and shrug and shake their heads, and ask questions on expat forums where everyone gives a slightly different answer to every question because they have met with slightly different government officials who have dealt with things slightly differently.

Anyone moving to Portugal should not underestimate how time consuming and difficult it can be to plough through the red tape and legalities. We are determined that we want to stay here for good, and, as such, we intend to do everything completely legally. This makes it hard to get advice from other expats as a lot of people you meet haven’t bothered or “got around” to doing it properly, or have been given hugely conflicting advice from the experts.

Add in the complications of the fact that we both have a UK income, and the implications for tax and social security in both countries, you end up with a situation that makes even the most helpful of accountants start doing their own version of the “Portuguese shurug.”

If it weren’t for the fact we are honest people who want to do everything by the book, it would be easy for us to go and bury our heads back in that sand and forget about it for another few months, so we can see why so many of our fellow expats appear to do just that. The other day I ended up with internet browser tabs simultaneously open for the European Union, Portugal’s Financias, HM Revenue and Customs and the UK NHS – that is enough to spoil anyone’s day.

Still, after days of research, we have a clear plan and with the help of kind-hearted accountants and forum members, we are pretty sure we know what things have to be done and in what order. Now we just need to voluntarily have several stressful, crap days in order to do it all. Wish us luck!

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  1. 28 07 10 03:52

    movingtoportugal | Red Tape – Too Legit to Quit!

10 to “Red Tape in Portugal”

  1. CcoR says:

    yep…your situation is quite different from the main stream, since your income is coming from the Uk but your residence is in Portugal.

    There is a Help center of Finanças in Faro, go there personally and ask what do you need to do in order to have your situation legalized.

    By the away, don’t forget to mention them that you intend to remain living in the algarve undefenitely, so this is your house and country now, and so you would like to do everything by the book. They will love this.
    With a bit of luck, and if you get the right person there, everything will be sorted out in one go…

    I think this is teh address:

    “Direcção de Finanças de Faro – Serviço de Apoio ao Contribuinte de Faro – IRC
    Morada: Rua Comandante Francisco Manuel, 1
    Faro
    8000-250 Faro”

    These guys exist to clarify and help people with their tax problems, and so they should be the best place to sort everything out once and for all.

  2. CcoR says:

    a bit more information:

    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Direcção de Finanças de Faro Serviço de Apoio ao Contribuinte de Faro – IRC

    ——————————————————————————–

    Missão: A Direcção-Geral dos Impostos tem como missão implementar e gerir uma relação inteligente entre o Estado e o Contribuinte, orientada para uma aproximação cada vez maior da Administração Fiscal ao cidadão.

    Competências: Informar o cidadão.

    Enquadramento: Institucional : Direcção-Geral dos Impostos, Orgânico : Direcção de Finanças de Faro

    Serviço: Direcção de Finanças de Faro Serviço de Apoio ao Contribuinte de Faro

    Código Fiscal: 1058

    Responsável:

    Atribui: As constantes do DL nº 408/93, de 14 de Dez, art. 32º, 33º e 34º.

    Morada: Rua Comandante Francisco Manuel, 1 Faro

    Código Postal: 8000-250 Faro

    Concelho: Faro

    Distrito: Faro

    Telefone: 289 880 664/6

    Fax: 289 801 965
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””

    you can also use the following contact number:

    707 206 707
    for the DGCI:Centro de Atendimento Telefónico

  3. Richard says:

    I could have written that blog post! We moved to Central Portugal in September and are in exactly the same situation. However, will all our good intentions, we still haven’t managed to pluck up courage to go to the local Direcção de Finanças and throw ourselves at their mercy. Good luck! Can’t wait to hear what happens.

  4. admin says:

    Thank you so much for all of the info. I am going to the local Loja De Cidade to get started on everything today! Best wishes, B

  5. admin says:

    Hi, Welcome to the blog. The red tape certainly isn’t a lot of fun, but we are off to try to get residency sorted today…if I manage to stop procrastinating 😉

    Best wishes, B

  6. Rick says:

    All being well, we are sometime this year going to be in the same situation and, with zero Portuguese language skills I’m not looking forward to it.

    I am seriously thinking that our approach is going to be find a Portuguese Lawyer who speaks good English and simply commission him/her to look after our interests and sort out the bureaucracy for us. I just hope the fees are not going to be crippling!

  7. admin says:

    Hi Rick,

    If you see the post I am about to put up, you will see that we have come to the same conclusion 🙂

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  8. Steve says:

    a bit more information:

    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Direcção de Finanças de Faro Serviço de Apoio ao Contribuinte de Faro – IRC

    ——————————————————————————–

    Missão: A Direcção-Geral dos Impostos tem como missão implementar e gerir uma relação inteligente entre o Estado e o Contribuinte, orientada para uma aproximação cada vez maior da Administração Fiscal ao cidadão.

    Competências: Informar o cidadão.

    Enquadramento: Institucional : Direcção-Geral dos Impostos, Orgânico : Direcção de Finanças de Faro

    Serviço: Direcção de Finanças de Faro Serviço de Apoio ao Contribuinte de Faro

    Código Fiscal: 1058

    Responsável:

    Atribui: As constantes do DL nº 408/93, de 14 de Dez, art. 32º, 33º e 34º.

    Morada: Rua Comandante Francisco Manuel, 1 Faro

    Código Postal: 8000-250 Faro

    Concelho: Faro

    Distrito: Faro

    Telefone: 289 880 664/6

    Fax: 289 801 965
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””

    you can also use the following contact number:

    707 206 707
    for the DGCI:Centro de Atendimento Telefónico

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  9. Emily says:

    yep…your situation is quite different from the main stream, since your income is coming from the Uk but your residence is in Portugal.

    There is a Help center of Finanças in Faro, go there personally and ask what do you need to do in order to have your situation legalized.

    By the away, don’t forget to mention them that you intend to remain living in the algarve undefenitely, so this is your house and country now, and so you would like to do everything by the book. They will love this.
    With a bit of luck, and if you get the right person there, everything will be sorted out in one go…

    I think this is teh address:

    “Direcção de Finanças de Faro – Serviço de Apoio ao Contribuinte de Faro – IRC
    Morada: Rua Comandante Francisco Manuel, 1
    Faro
    8000-250 Faro”

    These guys exist to clarify and help people with their tax problems, and so they should be the best place to sort everything out once and for all.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  10. admin says:

    Hi there – thank you for the info and best wishes 🙂

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.



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