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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope somebody can help us with what seems a crazy situation. My husband and i are both retired. In February 2013 we completed the purchase of a small rural property in Portugal. However, we are not Portuguese residents, and we do not spend more than 183 days in Portugal. All of our income is taxed in the UK.

In order to buy our Portuguese house, we both obtained a NIF number and we opened a Portuguese bank account. We also have a post box in the village in Portugal.

In April 2014 we will have to pay the IMI property tax. But it seems impossible to do this, because we cannot, it seems, be sent a bill!

Two weeks ago, we were in Portugal, and we went to the local Financas armed with all the documents pertaining to our Portuguese house, our NIF numbers, passports, bank account details and official Portuguese address. All we wanted to do was to ask for the Financas to send us the bill for IMI in time for us to pay it in April 2014. We already know that, as EU citizens, we do not need a fiscal representative to pay IMI, we can pay it ourselves.

After queueing for more than two hours at the Financas, we finally saw a man there who was pleasant enough, but no help at all. He told us that as we were not resident in Portugal, we could not have an official address there, and so the IMI bill could not be sent to us in Portugal. He also said it could not be sent to us in Britain!

He said the only way for us to pay our IMI bill next April would be to return to Portugal, visit the Finacas again, and get a form to pay the bill!

This seems a crazy situation. It will not always be convenient or possible for us to be in Portugal in April every year. We are aware that we can pay the IMI bill by transfer from our Portuguese bank account or by sending a cheque, but we cannot do either without a bill!

This problem is not helped by the fact that, although we are trying hard to learn to speak and understand Portuguese, we are nowhere near fluent yet.

Can anyone help us to resolve this problem? Thank you for any advice. Linda
 

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Well you've done everything correctly, you first need to check on your NIF paper, you should both be entered as NON Residents and your address should be your UK address, if it isn't then any correspondence bills etc will go to the address stated.

Your helpful Finanacas office man is a bit behind the times as Financas will and do post correspondence to EU & EAA addresses, so about March 2014 you should receive your IMI bill for 2013. The bill will contain the Entity, reference & amount you need to pay online

As you are NON Residence I would advise that you should register for online access to both your NIF numbers (each number requires it's own registration) so you can monitor anything to do with Financas and your property and if necessary get the information you need to pay a IMI bill.

I would also advise that where possible you do this for all utilities so you get "electronic" bills etc so you can monitor and pay if necessary, I'd also advise always pay by electronic transfer from your Portuguese bank so you have a receipt not by cheque

If you want help registering with Financas PM me
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much, Canoeman! I have checked both of our NIF documents, and we are both registered as non residents, and our Uk address is recorded there too. But of course we registered for NIF before we completed the purchase of the property.

Our UK address is also recorded on 4 other documents: the Contrato Promessa de Compra e Venda; the Titulo de Compra e Venda; the Caderneta Predial Urbana, and the Caderneta Predial Rustica (the property is "Misto"). It is not recorded on the Registo Predial Online document, Certidao Permanente.

However, on the first of these documents, the lawyer we used in Portugal wrote in a clause that correspondance should be sent to him. This seemed a reasonable idea at the time, because we had not completed the purchase, but while he dealt ok with the purchase of the property, he has not been very efficient since, and has not forwarded e.g. insurance documents sent by our bank.

This is why we wanted to ensure that either our Portuguese, or better still, our UK address (or indeed, email address) is the one the Financas will use. As it is, it is unclear to us whether we will receive the IMI bill for April 2014, or whether it will be sent to the lawyer, who does not appear to be capable of forwarding mail, and who does not even reply to emails.

So I hope you are correct that the bill will be sent to us. I have tried emailing to [email protected] to try to clarify, but I have not yet had a reply; I hope this is the correct email address, I could not find one on the Portal das Financas website.

I will try to register on the Financas website, but if the bill does not come to us, I am not sure how we can pay it. It seems that all we need to pay the IMI is the correct reference number. Do you know if this number is recorded on any of the documents I mention above? For example, the Registo Predial Certidao Permanante shows a number like this xxx/xxxxxxxx. The Caderneta Predial Urbana document shows two different 7 digit numbers, as follows: Mod 1 do IMI No. yyyyyyy Entregue em 2008/03/10, and Ficha de avaliacao No. zzzzzzz, Avaliada em 2008/03/29. The Caderneta Predial Rustica shows no numbers at all. Finally, the the Titulo de Compra e Venda shows two different numbers again, one called DUC IMT, and the other DUC de Imposto de Selo, but I assume that the DUC for IMI will be a different number again!

Sorry to be a pain, but I will not rest easy until I am sure we can pay our IMI every year on time! Thank you again for your help. Linda.
 

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Financas communicate only with the address you're registered too or a representative.

Just double check your NIF documents to make certain that your "lawyer" is not registered as your representative further down form, I didn't mention earlier because you said you didn't have a representative. if he is then any communication will go to him and it requires a personal visit to Financas to remove him, check before you try to register for online as "password" & "email ratification" would go to him


As he only stated correspondence to him on the Promissory note then that shouldn't affect anything else because as such it's finished with and has been superseded by the Escritura and property registrations.
Your UK address isn't on the Registo Predial Online document, Certidao Permanente because it relates to property and ownership in Portugal and is similar to UK Land Registry, the other documents have your UK address because property unlike UK is also registered with Financas

Email replies very unlikely to receive a response from Financas, you will have emailed a central office, papers, registrations etc are held and handled by the local office you are registered too, yes there on a central database but majority of billing etc is handled by your local office.

Payment numbers are totally different and refer to a specific bill so the numbers that are sent with the IMI bill relate to IMI due for 2013 paid April 2014
Entity = Financas
Reference = your specific IMI ref for that year
Amount = amount due for that year

If you register with Financas for online access to your NIFs then you can get these references numbers online but not until March ish when the bill becomes active to pay.

Your Portuguese Bank providing you have online banking will have a payment option for Finances so it's just a matter of entering Entity, Ref, amount and printing yourself a receipt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you again, Canoeman, you are a star!

The address of the lawyer is not recorded on our NIF papers, so hopefully the bill will come to our UK address in March.

If it doesn't, then we will have to make the trip to Portugal in April to try again to sort things out, but it's a pity that our local Financas seem pretty clueless! Perhaps I can quote chapter and verse in Portuguese to them (eg from the Portal das Financas website) so that they will accept that future bills should be sent to our UK address.

We love Portugal, but our trips there are pretty arduous -5 days minimum driving a camper van from north Wales! We can't fly because we have a dog who comes with us (in fact, he's a Portuguese dog who was abandoned at a campsite, so we adopted him). We often still have snow here in Wales in March and April, so we prefer to travel each way between mid May and September.

Thank you again. Linda
 

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Well you can check post systems works by simply registering for online access, you'll receive 2 communications one is to verify your email address, the other is your password for initial site entry.

Once you're registered then you always have that online access, although it is worth using monthly just to look and keep active

Local Financas offices are rarely up to date unless they have a lot of "Non" Residents, I wouldn't bother updating him, you're more likely to put his back up than make it easier for yourself, my local office still tries to insist on a "rep" for "Non" residents, post well it's automatic so they don't decide where it goes, it goes to the registered address.

I'd suggest if you don't have one open a gmail accountant and use that for any Portuguese sites, because it has a very handy translate option so any email communication you know what it's about
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you Canoeman, we will try registering for online access, if we get communications sent to us at our UK address, then we should also get the IMI bill sent there in March/April 2014.

If we don't receive anything, then we must assume the communications from Financas has been sent to our lawyer, although his name and address do not appear on the NIF documents we have.
 

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As far as Financas are concerned then that's your address as stated on your NIF documents, the importance to you is that it also states you are NON Resident, as far as their concerned your lawyer does not exist.

Get registered and take it from there as it not only gives you access to your IMI bill & reference numbers but anything tax matters to do with you both and your property that comes under Financas umbrella which is your Resident status, property registration and rateable value, and CGT if you sell.
 

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... Two weeks ago, we were in Portugal, and we went to the local Financas armed with all the documents pertaining to our Portuguese house, our NIF numbers, passports, bank account details and official Portuguese address. All we wanted to do was to ask for the Financas to send us the bill for IMI in time for us to pay it in April 2014. We already know that, as EU citizens, we do not need a fiscal representative to pay IMI, we can pay it ourselves.

After queueing for more than two hours at the Financas, we finally saw a man there who was pleasant enough, but no help at all. He told us that as we were not resident in Portugal, we could not have an official address there, and so the IMI bill could not be sent to us in Portugal. He also said it could not be sent to us in Britain!

He said the only way for us to pay our IMI bill next April would be to return to Portugal, visit the Finacas again, and get a form to pay the bill! ...
Perhaps he thought you were either asking for a bill to be issued now or for it to be sent to you in Portugal (or both)?

I suspect that they cannot issue a bill early to any address and, as canoeman has said, they will only send the bill to your registered address, when the time comes. If you haven't been able to get online access to your Finanças accounts in the meantime and the postal bills don't arrive, your only option will be a visit (for both of you) to Finanças to resolve it.

If you've bought the property in two names you will have two separate IMI bills, with different reference numbers.

The fact that he has confirmed that you are non-resident should be reassuring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, Richard. No, we made it quite clear that we were asking how we should pay the IMI next April, and told him our Portuguese address. He said we couldn't have a Portuguese address as non-residents, but he also said we couldn't have the bill sent to the UK. He told us to return to Portugal in April, when he would give us a bill to pay.

Please could you explain about the two IMi bills? We did buy the property jointly. Does this mean that the total amount due is split in half, with each of us paying half? Or does it mean that we effectively pay double IMI ? Sorry to sound so ignorent, but we just thought (and were told by the lawyer) that IMI was a tax on the property, like Council tax in the UK. Here in the UK, there is only one Council tax per habitation, regardless of how many joint owners the property has. Indeed, it may be the tenant of a property, rather than the owner(s), who is responsible for payment. It doesn't matter who pays the Council tax bill, so long as somebody does!

But IMI sounds quite different, more like a personal tax than a property tax.
 

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Simple if Financas have the property registered to one or more names then each person pays the appropriate percentage of total IMI Bill, 2 people 50% each, 3 people 1/3 each etc, each person is responsible for their % you cannot pay as a total amount.

You can check this online or on the Registration document with Finances headed
AT Caderneta Predial Urbano maybe Misto or a seperate same document Rustico on first or second page under TITULARES it states name/s property registered in and %.

Just because you've bought in joint names this doesn't always means Financas will have registered it that way, depends on how your Solicitor handled it, if it's an error he might be able to get Financas to change if that's what you want but Financas might insist that it is done legally which is expensive as a new Escritura must be done to make donation and the beneficiary of share will have to pay Stamp Duty (IS) on 50% or the % of share they receive of the current VPN value which is under DADOS De AVALIACO on same form, VPN (CIMI) needs to be checked to make certain it's current, there would also be a charge for reregistering property documents at the Conservatoria.

You might or might not know the payment dates and options for IMI
If IMI
250€ or less 100% payment by end of April
250-500€ 50% payment by end of April 50% by end November
+500€ 1/3 payment by end of April 1/3 by end of July 1/3 by end November
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again, Canoeman. The man we saw in the local Financas did confirm that our IMI bill would be a single one in April, which must mean it is under €250.

I've checked the documents, and while the Regista Predial Certidao Permanente shows both our names and our UK address, the Caderneta Predial Urbana and the Caderneta Predial Rustica both only show my husband's name, NIF number, and UK address. So presumably, he is responsible for paying the whole IMI bill, which will be simpler in many ways (though I'm the one who deals with all the bills in the UK!).

This being the case, and since we don't pay income tax etc in Portugal, would there be any point in me registering online with Financas? Perhaps it only needs my husband to do so?
 

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Just to clarify the Regista Predial Certidao Permanente is the registration at the Conservatoria the Gov Dept that handles registration of many things from property, cars, boats , aircraft etc etc, so details are slightly different to Financas and therefore show you as a joint owner of registered in this case property.

Unlike UK property, cars, are also registered with Financas (Tax Office) as their the department who collect the IMI (Rates) & IUC (road tax) non payment by due date is an automatic fine which quickly escalates so, as a Non Resident then yes it is worthwhile both of you registering for online access, it allows you to monitor your tax affairs (ok you don't pay tax or need to but mistakes do happen) or if post did go missing you can get reference numbers you need to make online payments, or if you want an up to date VPN figure it's all there, Financas certainly don't bombard you with information but occasional updates are useful.

Again as a Non Resident if you have any utilities it's worthwhile also registering with them for online invoices and access
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you again, Canoeman. The only regular payments we make are electricity bills every 2 months and annual house and contents insurance, both done by direct debit through our Portuguese bank account. We are registered for online access with both EDP and the bank, so we can monitor what's happening from the UK.

It's a shame we can't just set up a direct debit for our annual IMI payment!

We will do as you suggest and both register for online access with the Financas.

Could you explain what a VPN figure is, please? Linda
 

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Yes it's odd that all Financas bills have to be paid over the counter, multibanco, Payshops or online but it's just the way it is

Value Patrimonial it's the figure that is the result of Financas calculation of your property takes into account M2, double glazing, pool etc etc to give a "tax" value to your property and is used as the base for IS & IMI and has nothing to do with the "monetary" value of your property

When you purchased property you or your solicitor would have completed a Imposto Municipal Sobre Movies and received a Notificacao da Avaliaco which list the land, house area, garage, C/H etc
The VPN but also written as Valor Patrimonial Tributario which shows the VPN value and the formula used to calculate, when a sale purchase made a reassessment is done and VPN might increase slightly yearly, you can check online
 

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It is the address on the NIF form to register online

Guys,

Thanks for the discussion. I checked with the Financas twice who said that the address had been changed on the IMI to my address in UK (and they gave me a print out to prove it!). However I could not register for online use. After finding the bad photocopy of the NIF documentation that our lawyer originally gave us and putting in her address which was on the form - bingo, I'm registered.

I now need to work out how I'm going to get the passwords which will I think be sent to her old office address!

Mike
 

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If she is entered as your representative in the NIF form (theres a section for it) in Portugal then yes all and any correspondence will go to her, you'll need to get the 2 posted documents from her to complete online registration, but until you physically remove her as your Representative any written communication will go to her.

You cannot do it online has to be in person at a Financas office

If she isn't which sounds the case then you should receive the passwords through the post to UK
 

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A question on paying IMI taxes

Hi everyone,
yeah it's such a night mare trying to pay your IMI tax if you don't live in Portugal.In the past I would just go over every 2 years and pay it with the fines.The IMI tax bill is sent to the the agent who I bought the property through and a agent friend of mine has been picking up the bill,paying it for me, but he is ill now,so i am trying to sort it out my self.
I know how much the bill is by going through their website with a password I had sent to the agents address in Portugal.
My question is how do I now pay the IMI tax bill as I don't have a bank account in Portugal. I could send a bank transfer if I could obtain all the portal das financas bank details.
Anybody got any ideas???

Regards Paul
 

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Then although you know the IMI amount your back to square 1 as you need a Portuguese Bank account to pay online or in any other way.
Financas will not accept a bank transfer from a non Portuguese check etc

You have little option but to absorb fine and pay when here in person, or find someone to pay on your behalf or open a Portuguese bank account, which might be your easiest course as presumably you have water and electricity connected that must also be paid
 
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