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Following the publication of the 2017 budget law in Portugal, the government will introduce postponed import VAT accounting in Portugal. This mechanism allows businesses importing goods into the country to avoid the payment of import VAT at the border. Instead, import VAT is self-accounted in the periodic VAT return under the reverse charge mechanism.
It is still not clear what will be the procedure to apply for postponed import VAT accounting. We expect the forms and further details to be published in the coming weeks.
Payment of import VAT is generally due at the border. Because VAT can only be deducted once the VAT return is submitted, this requirement creates a cash-flow disadvantage for importers. Most countries have simplifications in place such as delaying the payment of import VAT (eg UK) or allowing this VAT to be reverse charged in the VAT return (eg. France, Spain, Slovenia and now Portugal).
Last December 2017 the Portuguese authorities announced changes to the SAF-T requirements in order to simplify the collection of data from the ERP system.
Starting 1 July 2017, the authorities´ system will allow to align the different account categories with the accounting standards used by each business. These changes will simplify the reports produced and the completion of the annual VAT return in Portugal due mid-July.