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The Portuguese authorities published guidelines on how to make VAT payments from a foreign bank account. These guidelines area important for foreign businesses registered for VAT in Portugal. Going forward, in addition to the payment reference, you should also include your VAT number.
Portugal has a unique system to pay VAT. Once you submit your VAT return, in addition to the submission receipt, you will get a payment form with a long number that you must use as reference in your bank transfer. The problem with foreign banks is that references are not always communicated in standard format, hence the authorities can find difficulties when reconciling a payment received with a VAT return submitted.
Where these payments are not reconciled on time, the authorities will automatically raise penalties and even initiate a process to seize your goods in the country. Most non-established VAT registered businesses in Portugal are exposed to these risks and hence should be careful when making their VAT payments. This reconciliation should now be easier as taxpayers will also include their VAT number. We recommend following the guidelines published by the authorities and contacting us in case you need assistance confirming your payment or contesting potential penalties from the authorities.
This information was kindly provided by our local contact Catarina de Melo.