Portugal has been getting a lot of attention due to its tax-friendly cryptocurrency laws. In 2019, the country announced that buying and selling of cryptocurrencies was tax-free.
Since then, any gains from the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies have not been taxed. As long as bitcoin trading isn’t your primary profession, you are exempt from taxation. In fact, there are little or no regulation hurdles for investors in the crypto space.
These laws have made Portugal popular with cryptocurrency enthusiasts, allowing the country to become something of a crypto hub. But is it going to allow the status quo to stand in the long run?
Update: The government voted down to tax cryptocurrencies the 25th of May, 2022.
0% tax on cryptocurrencies
Go directly to
In countries such as the United States, virtual currencies are seen as assets. They are taxed in the same way as stocks or real estate. By contrast, Portugal considers cryptocurrencies to be a currency. This distinction is the game-changer with regard to taxes.
The country currently doesn’t tax any capital gains from the trading of cryptocurrencies by individuals. Bitcoin earnings are also exempt from VAT. However, companies that provide services in the cryptocurrency industry are usually taxed on their capital gains. This tax may range from 28% to 35%.
How to define a professional crypto trader in Portugal
There are several factors that determine whether you are regarded as a professional crypto trader who should be paying taxes on your crypto trading in Portugal. These include:
+Your trade frequency
+How long you have been holding your crypto asset
+The number of trading platforms you use
+How complex the traded products are
+Your profit levels
+Your main source of income
+Credit financing/debt to equity level.
Is this going to change?
There is a possibility that Portugal’s time as a crypto hub might soon be over. The country’s Finance Minister, Fernando Medina, announced on May 13, 2022, that the government was planning on carrying out a comprehensive review of the tax legislation on crypto gains. However, he did not provide any timeframes on when they would do so.
Currently, the country taxes capital gains at a rate of 28% for residents. The income tax ranges from 14.5% to 48%, while corporation tax runs at a flat rate of 21%. According to Medina, the Portuguese government is planning to use a balanced approach when it comes to taxing cryptos. He is committed to developing a just and efficient system that will levy an “adequate” tax on crypto assets.
Crypto taxation was under discussion in the Portuguese parliament back in March 2021. However, as Portugal has no tax framework for cryptos, The Secretary of State for Tax Affairs, António Mendonça Mendes, was pushing for a study on how other countries taxed virtual assets. However, a political crisis and an early election pushed back discussions to 2022. It now seems likely that a review of the crypto taxation laws will go ahead.
The government is also looking at implementing reforms in other aspects of crypto tax legislation such as VAT. It may also put in place anti-money laundering laws. In fact, crypto legislation may also cover the regulation and supervision of the crypto market.
According to the Finance Minister, the country is only waiting for the final results of the review of the European Markets in Crypto Assets (Mica) and the Transfer of Funds (TRF) regulations. After this, it’s (Portugal is) going to put in place serious reforms concerning crypto assets.
How taxation is likely to impact crypto in Portugal?
In the recent past, there has been a growing crypto community in Portugal. Many crypto enthusiasts have been moving into the country, which is considered a tax heaven. For instance, the popular bitcoin family, the Taihutus, moved into the country in February, citing the zero crypto taxes as their reason for relocation.
According to Patrick Hasen, an EU policy expert, the gains that the country has made in attracting cryptocurrency investors are likely to be eroded. The country will most likely lose its position as a crypto taxation haven if these legislative reforms go ahead.
Portugal is among the few remaining countries in Europe that do not tax cryptocurrency assets. However, they plan to fill the void soon judging by the comments of the Finance Minister.
While, up to now, no changes have been made to the crypto laws, this may not be the case in the near future. The tag of a crypto tax heaven may not last long.
But even as the country awaits changes in taxation laws, cryptocurrency transactions continue to gain prominence, especially in the real estate sector. Recently, bitcoin was used to buy a house making this the first real estate crypto transaction.
This is an indication that the crypto community still has faith in the industry, whether the Portuguese government puts crypto taxation in place or not. Like other countries in Europe, taxation may or may not affect the enthusiasm of Portugal’s citizens for crypto. But this will definitely impact those planning to relocate to the country.