2021-10-08

The PRR is national in scope, with an execution period until 2026, and will implement, with investment resources that amount to EUR 16,644 million, made up of EUR 13,944 million in grants (84% of the total) and EUR 2,700 million in loans (16%).

The Resilience and Recovery Plan has as main scopes of intervention:

  • Resilience, (61% of the PRR) destined for improving economic recovery and increasing responsiveness to future crises and associated challenges, through: social resilience, economic and productive fabric resilience and territorial resilience;
  • Climate transition, (21% of the PRR) destined for better and more sustainable use of resources, increased production of renewable energy and decarbonisation of the economy and society; and
  • Digital transition, (18% of the PRR) destined for digital inclusion of people through education, training in digital skills and promotion of digital literacy, digital transformation of the business sector and digitisation of the State.

These 3 structuring dimensions are materialised in 20 components, 37 reforms and 83 investments, which will be implemented following the principle of result orientation based on milestones and targets.

The applications for PRR grants and loans are made through an online platform, “Recuperar Portugal”, which facilitates the process. The implementation of the measures or investments of the PRR will be subject to contracts between the “Recuperar Portugal" and the direct or intermediary beneficiaries.

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Portugal offers national and foreign investors investment incentives to promote and attract investment.

Incentives may come as financial incentives, repayable or non-refundable, tax benefits and co-financing. Exceptionally, specific subsidies may also be granted, such as reimbursement of employers’ costs with the training of employees.
The incentives may include:

  • Incentives granted under the «Portugal 2030» programme established through an agreement with EU covering the period from 2021 to 2030;
  • Incentives granted under the «Recovery and Resilience Plan» (Plano de Resiliência e Recuperação, PRR) from 2021 to 2026;
  • Tax incentives granted under the Investment Tax Code which aim to promote the competitiveness of the Portuguese economy; and
  • Incentives programmes designed for specific situations, such as the creation of jobs, which may include temporary reductions of the employer’s social security contributions, financial support for hiring young people, unemployed etc. and co-funding of training costs.

The Portuguese Government also set up a system for monitoring, facilitating and reducing bureaucracy in the implementation of projects considered to be of «potential national interest» the so-called «projetos de interesse nacional» or PIN projects.

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Portugal 2030 Program has as main goals:

  • To achieve a better demographic balance, greater inclusion and less inequality;
  • To increase development based on digitisation, innovation and skills;
  • To promote climate transition and resource sustainability; and
  • To achieve an externally competitive and internally cohesive country.

Portugal 2030 is currently under negotiation; it is expected that the operational programmes will be approved by the European Commission in the first quarter of 2022. The online platform for Portugal 2030 incentives should also launched in the first quarter of 2022.

Portugal 2030 aims to achieve concrete results. As a condition for the approval of the project, the beneficiary must commit to its material and financial execution, as well as to achieve the results negotiated. The achievement of the targets to which the beneficiary is committed is subject to audits and monitoring.

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The Project Recognition and Monitoring System is a monitoring mechanism for projects that are recognised as having potential national interest (Potencial Interesse Nacional, PIN).

The PIN recognition system does not constitute a fund allocation program per se, but a monitoring program for the applications and execution of the investment projects that are benefiting from or are intended to benefit from the incentives.
For projects to be recognised as PIN’s, they must meet the following cumulative requirements:

  • Represent an overall investment of EUR 25 million or more;
  • Create 50 or more direct jobs; and
  • Be presented by reputable and reliable sponsors.

Exceptionally, projects that meet two of the following criteria may be recognised as PIN, even if they do not meet the first two requirements described above:

  • Internal Research and Development (R&D) activity of at least 10% of the company's turnover;
  • Significant part of the company’s business related to own patents;
  • Demonstrable interest in environmental compliance, this may be made by the adoption of internal measures to reduce its carbon footprint or other environmental burdens, the production of recyclable/green products etc.;
  • The company must have a minimum of 50% of its turnover originated from international markets; or
  • Outstanding production of tradable goods and services.

For the operationalisation of this system the government created a support commission for investors (Comissão Permanente de Apoio ao Investidor, CPAI).

The project developer must file an application that fulfils the requirements for PIN recognition, according to a model previously approved by the CPAI.

The recognition of the project as a PIN must take place in a maximum of 30 days counting from the reception date of the application.

To the projects recognised as PIN a process manager, responsible for monitoring the administrative procedures, is assigned.

The recognition of a project as a PIN ensures a priority treatment in the licensing procedures. PIN projects also benefit from a special administrative procedure, which involves:

  • Simultaneous processing of the central government’s administrative procedures;
  • Reduction and simultaneous completion of the internal procedures determined by the administrative authorities that are responsible for issuing the necessary licenses;
  • A single period to consult the relevant administrative procedures;
  • Simplification of the procedures related to the zoning plan instruments relevant to the project;
  • Tacit positive reports and tacit deferral under the various applicable procedures; and
  • Simplification of procedures to obtain construction permits.
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The investment projects that engage in certain activities may until 31 December 2021, benefit from tax incentives, for a period of up to ten years counting from the completion of the investment project, provided that the amount invested is equal to or greater than EUR 3 million. Such projects regard: (i) extractive and manufacturing industry activities, (ii) tourism, (iii) agricultural and forestry activities, (iv) defence, environment and energy, or (v) research activities.

The tax benefits may include:

  • Tax credits;
  • Reduction of or exemption from real estate taxes, such as IMI (Imposto Municipal sobre Imóveis), during the term of the agreement, regarding the buildings used by the project developer when executing the project; and
  • Exemption from stamp duty, regarding all acts or contracts required to carry out the project.

In addition to these tax benefits, municipalities may grant total or partial exemptions from IMI or IMT (Imposto Municipal sobre as Transmissões Onerosas de Imóveis) for specific investments made in the Municipality.

Projects that prove to be technically, economically and financially viable, provide for the creation or maintenance of jobs and fulfil at least one of the following conditions, may be granted access to the contractually defined fiscal benefits attributed to productive investment:

  • Be relevant to the strategic development of the national economy;
  • Substantially contribute to the reduction of regional asymmetries; and
  • Contribute to technological innovation and national scientific research, improve the country’s environmental awareness and structures or enhance competitiveness and productivity.

To access these benefits the investor must submit an electronic application to one of the State investment agencies, AICEP or IAPMEI.

The investment incentives may be withdrawn:

  • If the project developer fails to comply with the contractually defined obligations;
  • If the project developer does not fulfil his/hers/its tax obligations; or
  • If the project developer provides false information about its business or the project or presents manipulated data in the presentation, appraisal and monitoring of projects.

The termination of the contract will cause the loss of the tax benefits and the obligation to pay back the uncollected tax revenues plus interest.

Tax incentives may be granted to business research and development, which allows corporate income tax taxpayers with residence in Portugal engaged in agricultural, industrial, commercial and services activities or non-residents with a permanent business establishment in the territory to deduct from the amount of corporate income tax collection the amount corresponding to research and development expenditure in the part that has not received outright financial contribution from the State, and provided that it is carried out in the taxation periods between January 2014 and the end of 2021.

To qualify for the tax deductions mentioned above, investors must meet the following conditions cumulatively:

  • The taxable profit cannot be determined by indirect methods; and
  • The applicant cannot have any unpaid State and Social Security taxes or contributions.

Investment incentives must have one of these forms:

  • A contract between the State and the investor, designated by contractual incentives;
  • Autonomous incentives, depending on specific situations that are supposed to be protected; or
  • Assignment conceded by State funded programs.
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Relevant legislation

Investment Tax Code [Portuguese Only]

Decree-Law 76/2011 that creates the Projects of National Interest Support Mechanism [Portuguese Only]

Decree-Law 154/2013 that establishes a Permanent Commission for PIN Projects Investors Support [Portuguese Only]

 

Useful links

Portuguese Investment Agency (AICEP Portugal Global)

«Portugal 2020» Official Website

 

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We are used to working on all aspects of corporate and commercial law. We act regularly in domestic and cross-border transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, financings and foreign investments.

We can assist you in:

  • Negotiuating investment incentves
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If you have any question or wish us to provide a budget, please contact us to: whyportugal@macedovitorino.com

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