British expatriates who receive UK pensions and benefits may soon be contacted by the Department of Work & Pensions to confirm their international bank details.
From 31st January 2014, the Department for Work & Pensions will need an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identification Code (BIC) in order to make payments to accounts in Portugal and other Eurozone countries.
THE STORY SO FAR: The Portuguese government introduced a ‘Golden Visa’ program this year to attract wealthy non-EU foreigners.
Anyone investing a mere €500,000 in property is eligible for a visa that allows them to take up residence, saves them the inconvenience of paying tax on foreign-earned income and gives the right to unrestricted travel within the Schengen zone.
The government is declaring the Golden Visa scheme a roaring success with the biggest number of recipients coming from Russia, China, Angola and Colombia.
Do not worry if you are due to make a second IMI payment in September and have not yet been able to make the payment, because in 2013 the dates for payment of your IMI tax (council tax) have been changed.
When the amount of your tax is under 250 euros, the payment is done in one instalment only in April, but when the amount due is between 250 and 500 euros, the payment is done in two instalments, one in April as before, and the second has been moved to November instead of September.
Official information on the scheme for pre 92 WPAs (Equitable Life With-Profits Annuity), updated by HM TReasury 10th Sept 2013.
1. Payments to pre-September 1992 Equitable Life With-Profits Annuity (WPA) policyholders announced at Budget 2013
The CIMI property tax rates have been published and despite the lack of local government funds and the crisis hitting all the local councils, the good news for most property owners is that many of the local tax departments have opted to retain their tax rates used for the IMI calculations at the same rate as for 2011. Some have even lowered them as is the case for Alcoutim, Lagoa, Silves and Vila do Bispo.
Does your property have a tax value (as seen on the IMI property tax bills) of €1,000,000 or more? The Portuguese tax department will be issuing additional stamp duty demands in respect of all properties where the tax value on the 31st October 2012 was 1 million euros or over.