What your tax obligations are

Independent Worker

On this page you will find information on the tax and social security obligations of a self-employed person. An individual who is a tax resident in Portugal and who pursues an activity as a self-employed person either in Portugal or in other countries is obliged to register his activity in Portugal and fulfil certain obligations. Failure to comply with these obligations will result in the payment of fines.

General considerations

A self-employed person who is resident in Portugal must comply with several tax and social security obligations.
Before starting his activity, the worker must register his activity with both the Tax and Social Security Authorities (even if he is exempt from contributions). Additionally, the worker must check whether he/she is subject to VAT. Finally, the worker must comply with the requirements of invoicing and communication of his invoices to the Tax Authorities.

The tax and the Social Security regimes varies from case to case. In this sense, if you have doubts about the tax regime applicable to your specific case and if you meet the requirements to benefit from exemptions, request us a memorandum with the tax regime applicable to your specific case in terms of Personal Income Tax, Value Added Tax and Social Security (please see the our fees at the end of this page).

Description of the procedures

Initial considerations

The declaration of beginning of the activity must be submitted before the beginning of the activity. This declaration must be submitted in your personal area of the Portuguese Tax Authorities’ website.
The submission of this declaration at a date later than the commencement of the activity is subject to the payment of a fine.
In order to access your personal area you must obtain a password. This access password can be requested electronically, which will be sent within 5 working days to your tax domicile registered in the Tax Authority system (for example, if you are still registered as a non-tax resident, this password will be sent to your address abroad, or to the Portuguese address of your tax representative, if you have appointed one). Alternatively, this password may be personally requested at a Tax Office, in which case you will obtain the password on the same day.
If you would like our assistance with your password request at a Tax Office, you will need the following documents:
– Identification document (citizen card or passport)
– Portuguese tax number
– Proxy to grant us powers to represent you before the Tax Authorities
In order to assist you in the preparation and presentation of the declaration of beggining of activity we will need the following information:
– Portuguese tax identification number
– Date of beginning of activity
– Estimated turnover in the first year of activity
– IBAN of your Portuguese bank account
– If you wish to provide intra-community services/transmissions
– Identification of the activity you will perform (this activity is identified through codes provided in the Personal Income Tax Code or in the Portuguese List of Classification of Economic Activities).

The self-employed are, as a general rule, subject to social security in Portugal. In certain situations, self-employees may be exempt or excluded from contributions (e.g. accumulation of activities, pensioners, etc.).
The first enrolment in the scheme for self-employed workers only takes effect on the first day of the 12th month after the start of activity, which means that the person is only subject to the payment of contributions from the 13th month onwards.
The contributions due will correspond to the application of the rate of 21.4% to the contribution base (determined according to the income received).
When a person has not earned income in a given quarter, he or she will pay contributions amounting to 20 Euros per month in the following quarter.

If you are not a Portuguese national and do not have a social security identification number, you must apply for this number as soon as you start your activity (even if you are exempt from contributions for the first 12 months).
In order to be able to assist you with the application for the social security identification number, we will need the following documents and information:
– Identification document (citizen card, passport, residence permit card, etc.)
– Portuguese tax identification number;
– Address
– Mobile phone number
– E-mail
– Full name of mother and father
– Declaration of beginning of the activity
– Proxy to be granted to us to represent you in this request
In addition, self-employed workers, when subject to the payment of contributions, are required to submit a quarterly declaration by the last day of January, April, July and October. This quarterly declaration must be submitted in your personal area of Segurança Social Direta (Social Security website).
In order to be able to assist you with the registration at Segurança Social Direta we will need the following information:
– Social Security identification number
– Identification document (citizen card, passport)
– Tax identification number
– E-mail
– Mobile phone number
In order to assist you with the preparation and presentation of your quarterly statement we will need the following information and documents:
– Social Security identification number
– Segurança Social Direta access password (obtained after registration on this platform);
– Information on the amounts of income earned in the previous quarter
– Confirm if you want to reduce or increase your contribution base by 25%

The self-employees are obliged to issue invoices for each service rendered or goods sold. As a general rule, these invoices must be issued within 5 days.
These invoices may be issued in the personal area of the self-employee Portuguese Tax Authorities’ website or through any certified invoicing programme. However, in the latter case, the worker is obliged to submit the said invoices on the Finance Portal by the 12th day of the month following that in which the invoice was issued.
If you choose to issue invoices from your personal area of the Portuguese Tax Authorities’ website, we are available to send you a document with instructions on how to fill in the respective fields and issue these invoices. We note that the filling in of the fields depends on your specific situation in terms of Personal Income Tax and VAT. Therefore, our instructions will be adapted to your specific case. With these instructions you will be able to issue all invoices without our assistance.

Initial considerations
As a general rule, self-employed workers without organised accounts and who do not carry out import or export operations are exempt from VAT if they did not achieve, in the previous calendar year, a turnover exceeding 12,500 Euros (or estimate that they do not have this turnover in the first year of activity).
When subject to VAT, workers are obliged to submit a periodic VAT declaration (to be submitted monthly or quarterly) and to submit a recapitulative statement if they provide services or carry out intra-Community transfers of goods.
The VAT regimes vary from case to case, and it is important to check which regime applies in your particular case.
For the preparation of your periodic VAT declaration, we will generally need the following information:
– Invoices issued
– Invoices for VAT deductible expenses
For the preparation of your VAT recapitulative statement, as a general rule, we will need the invoices issued to entities resident in European Union Member States.

Our Fees

Fees are subject to VAT at the rate of 23% (due on the top of the fee amount). For more information on how to contract our services – here.


For the preparation of a memorandum with the regime applicable to your specific case in terms of Personal Income Tax, VAT and Social Security

500 Euros


For the register on the Tax Authorities website and on-line request of a password

25 Euros (For urgent requests of password at the Tax Office – 75 Euros)


For the preparation and submission of the declaration of beginning of activity

100 Euros


For the social security identification number request

100 Euros


For Segurança Social Direta registration

25 Euros


For the preparation and submission of the quarterly Social Security declaration

50 Euros/ per declaration


By sending instructions to explain how to issue invoices by the Portuguese Tax Authorities website in your specific case

50 Euros


For the submission of the periodic VAT return

from 100 Euros/per return


For submitting the VAT recapitulative statement

from 50 Euros / per statement

Time of completion

As a general rule, all services referred to on this page are performed on a working day. The preparation of periodic VAT returns may take a few days, depending on the workflow and number of invoices issued and deductible expenses.

Contact us

We are happy to answer your questions and make your journey in Portugal a pleasant one.

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