The property transfer tax in Portugal or IMT (Imposto Municipal Sobre as Transmissões Onerosas de Imóveis) is the tax on property purchases in Portugal. It is payable on almost every change of ownership of a property. The IMT is applied together with the stamp duty (“Imposto de selo”) 24 hours before the purchase (“escritura”) by the notary and you are then given a corresponding payment order.
You can either pay the tax directly at the tax office or via online banking. However, a Portuguese bank account is required for online banking. The notary will not proceed with a sale without confirmation of payment of the IMT.
The exchange of properties (“permuta”) is an alternative to the traditional buying and selling of houses. This solution allows for the swap of one property for another and has many benefits, namely fiscal ones, with IMT being one of them. Although there have been some changes, this still proves true as of 2023.
Basically, in a “permuta” of real estate, the amounts of both IMT and IMI to pay are the difference in value between the two properties being exchanged. Say an owner swaps a 300.000€ house for one valued at 250.000€ – they are automatically exempt from paying IMT. The other owner would be the one paying the 50.000€ difference.
With the amendments introduced by the State Budget (“Orçamento de Estado”) for 2023 , the condition mentioned above (IMT exemption for one owner when there’s a difference in value between properties) ceases to apply when these are transferred within one year of the exchange. This basically means that there is no longer an advantage to carrying out technical swaps whenever the transfer of real estate takes place within less than a year of the swap – the IMT will then be applied on the value stated in the act or contract (or on the taxable patrimonial value of the properties, if higher), and no longer on the declared difference in values.
If you sell a transferred property before the swap is a year old, you will also have to pay the regular IMT, just as if you had simply bought it.
Here you can simulate a business case study for short or long-term rentals for a period of five years.
Instructions for simulating the taxes can also be found within the calculator.
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