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Since 1660 the Stamp Duty has existed, being the oldest of the Portuguese tax system. It is used for various documents, financial securities, leasing, asset acquisition, gambling, financial transactions, insurance and many other situations. This translates into a rate or even a fixed euro amount applicable in a contract or act performed. Find out what this tax is for, when the exemption may occur, and how it applies to the credit.

Stamp Duty falls under the category of excise duties, and applies only to all acts that are not subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) - and therefore not cumulative with it - and is through the  Stamp Duty Code (CIS) .

In spite of the fact that this taxation is mainly applied in the national territory, there are also some situations in which it affects outside Portugal, namely:

  • Credit operations - and their interest and commissions - carried out by entities headquartered abroad to entities in Portugal;
  • Insurance carried out by companies from other EU Member States on risks located in Portugal.

What acts and contracts does Stamp Tax apply?

The incidence of Stamp Duty occurs in the following situations:

  • Customs operations;
  • Games relating to social causes or gambling which are not subject to the gaming tax system;
  • Costly acquisition or donation of property;
  • Acquisition of goods by natural persons, either by succession or donation;
  • About the lease;
  • Issuance of documents, books and papers;
  • Consumer credit and operations by financial entities;
  • Stocks, bonds, public debt certificates and other credit papers;
  • Among others.

It can be seen that the incidence of this tax is wide. To find out the specific rates and incidence rates see the  General Table of Stamp Duty , available on the website of the Tax and Customs Authority.

Are there any exempt cases?

The answer is positive. The following acts are exempt from Stamp Duty:

  • Life insurance premiums;
  • Games organized by IPSS (Private Social Solidarity Institutions);
  • Guarantees of securities and derivatives exchange operations;
  • Reporting of Securities on the Exchange;
  • Treasury operations with a maturity of less than or equal to one year;
  • Home loan interest;
  • Operations between financial institutions.

How does the Credit Stamp Tax apply?

All loans have consumer charges, including commissions and taxes, with Stamp Duty being one of these.

Stamp Duty on Mortgage Loans

Firstly, in mortgage loans, this charge has to be paid at two different times: on the one hand, when the deed of the house is to be acquired and, on the other hand, when the loan amount is made available in the current account.

At the time of writing, the Stamp Duty is levied on 0.8% of the acquisition value of the property. For example, if the house costs 120 thousand euros, what will be paid stamp duty at the time of writing will be 960 euros.

From the moment the requested loan amount is received in the current account, the Stamp Duty on the amount of the credit will be supported, applicable according to the term:

  • If it is from 1 to 5 years old, the incidence is 0.50%;
  • For more than 5 years applies at 0.60%.

In addition, there is also a charge for this tax on the  commissions required by banks in mortgage loans : in this case, the incidence is 4% on opening, study, dossier and similar commissions.

Although Stamp Duty is equally applied by all financial institutions , the truth is that each has specific characteristics and advantages for those who want to buy a home . The choice should be weighed and should compare the various offers on the market.

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