Portugal’s VAT Regime

Portugal pushes further ahead with VAT digitization

VAT, Portugal and invoice controls are all constantly changing. Brought in to reduce tax evasion and increase revenue, these controls include mandatory billing software certification and monthly submission of billing Standard Audit File for Tax (SAF-T). In 2022, mandatory e-invoicing was introduced.

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VAT in Portugal

VAT in Portugal never sits still, with the country’s tax system digitizing rapidly. In 2008, Portugal became one of the first European countries to implement SAF-T. Initially, SAF-T was only required on-demand by the Portuguese tax authorities.

SAF-T evolution continued in July 2017 when the country required any SAF-T files submitted during the audit process to be in XML version 1.4 format. For Fiscal Year 2023, accounting SAF-T will move from an on-demand requirement to annual mandatory submission.

Quick facts on Portugal SAF-T standards

  • There are two types of SAF-T in Portugal: Billing SAF-T and accounting SAF-T. Each of these has different requirements.
  • Accounting SAF-T is mandatory from 2023 and will need to be submitted annually via the tax authority portal to automatically pre-fill IES Annexes authenticity and integrity
  • Billing SAF-T has monthly submission requirements and must be completed with the normal VAT return by the 12th of the month following the reporting period. This deadline will be moved to the 5th of the month from 1 January 2023. Billing SAF-T is submitted via the e-fatura portal.
  • Resident and non-resident companies which carry out commercial, industrial or agricultural activities with organised accounting on computerised accounting systems are included in SAF-T requirements.

Portugal E-invoicing reforms

Portugal’s invoicing controls were originally implemented as a means of controlling tax evasions, but with EU mandates in the past few years, more mandates have been adopted.

These reforms are targeted at both private taxpayers as well as public entities with further mandates expected in the future.

Quick facts on Portugal e-invoicing requirements

  • Use of certified billing software is mandatory for the creation of all types of invoices; this is understood to be the taxpayer’s ERP system.
  • A QR code has been required on both electronic and paper invoices since January 2022.
  • A unique ID number (ATCUD) is required for both electronic and paper invoices from January 2023.
  • In April 2021, Portugal clarified that non-resident companies with a Portuguese VAT registration are required to comply with domestic VAT rules. These companies must also ensure the validity, integrity and authenticity of e-invoices. This means using a Qualified Electronic Signature or seal, or use of EDI with contracted security measures.
  • Public entities must receive e-invoices whilst companies must send e-invoices from 1 July 2022. PDF e-invoices are acceptable.

VAT in Portugal: Important SAF-T and e-invoicing dates

Portugal SAF-T

  • 1 January 2008 – Portugal implements SAF-T for VAT registered businesses
  • 1 January 2011 – Billing software certification required for resident taxpayers
  • 1 January 2013 – Billing SAF-T required to be submitted monthly via the e-fatura portal (only a requirement for resident taxpayers)
  • 1 July 2017 – Accounting SAF-T version 1.04.01 implemented
  • 30 April 2022 – Proposed implementation of annual accounting SAF-T reporting

 Portugal e-invoicing

  • 18 April 2020 – Public entities accept electronic invoices to meet European Standards
  • 1 January 2021 – Introduction of qualified signature for PDF and e-invoices requirement.
  • 1 July 2021 – Non-resident taxpayers are required to have billing software certification
  • 1 January 2022 – QR code requirement implemented for all paper and electronic invoices
  • 1 January 2023 – Unique ID number (ATCUD) will be mandatory on all paper and electronic invoices.

How Sovos can help with VAT in Portugal

Our experts continually monitor, interpret and codify changes into our software, reducing the compliance burden on your tax and IT teams.

Learn how Sovos’ solution for Portugal’s unique SAF‑T requirements can help companies stay compliant.

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FAQ Portugal's VAT regime

How much is VAT in Portugal?

There are three VAT rates in Portugal – the standard rate is currently 23%; however, there is also a reduced rate of 13% and a super reduced rate of 6%. These rates differ from region to region as well.

Do I pay VAT in Portugal?

Yes, VAT in Portugal is charged on all taxable goods and services. The only category that isn’t subject to VAT is intra-community and international passenger transport.

Is a VAT number in Portugal the same as NIF?

There is only one tax ID in Portugal (for individual and corporate taxpayers), the NIF. It is used for all tax purposes including as a VAT number (i.e. for intra-community trade).

What is a tax ID in Portugal?

A tax ID in Portugal is an identification number that the Portuguese government uses to identify a company or taxpayer.

What is a Portuguese tax number?

Portuguese tax numbers are a nine-digit number. A Portuguese tax number is called a Número de Identificação Fiscal or a NIF number.

What are Portugal’s VAT rules?

Portuguese VAT rules are based on regulations drawn up by the EU, of which Portugal was a founding member. The standard Portuguese VAT rate is currently 23%. As a Member State of the EU, Portugal is obliged to implement the VAT Directives, which provide guidance on VAT. Where there is a conflict, the European Directive takes precedence.

What is Portugal’s VAT law?

Portuguese VAT law has a specific code, Código do Imposto sobre o Valor Acrescentado (“Codigo do IVA”) and Regime de IVA nas Transacções Intracomunitárias (“RITI”) and is administered by the Autoridade Tributária

Need help to ensure your business is VAT compliant in Portugal?

Sovos provides a complete VAT, SAF-T and B2G compliance solution for Portugal helping customers meet the demands of the digital transformation of tax and public procurement through a single provider. Sovos uniquely combines local expertise with a seamless, global customer experience.