What are the taxes and charges when buying a house in Portugal

20 de March, 2020

The process of buying a property almost always involves other expenses besides the final cost of the residence acquisition: taxes, fees and administrative costs.

In the case of recurring to mortgage loans, costs with registration and Stamp Duty on the loan amount should also be considered. Know what charges you will have and what taxes you have to pay.

Before purchasing the property, there are some taxes to consider, such as the IMT (Municipal Tax on Real Estate Transfer), a tax related to the change of ownership of the property and which varies depending on the location, value and type of property. It must be paid by the buyer before the purchase and the deed, and the Stamp Duty, which is fixed and levies on the total amount of the transition (0.8%).

In the first phase it is customary to proceed with the evaluation of the property (variable cost), and it is at this time that the need to use a bank loan for housing credit will be considered.

As a rule, a contract for the purchase and sale of the property is prepared and signed, including request for a down payment (an amount that can be lost if the contract is not concluded).

To formalize the purchase a deed has to be made, which is called the Acquisition Register. You can choose to do it at a Land Registry Office (cheaper) or at a Notary Office.

Once the deed process is concluded you will have the Land Registry Certificate in your possession, a document containing all the information related to the property.

Often, in the process of buying a property, it may be necessary to have guarantors, which may also incur costs in addition to the involvement of third parties.

We must also highlight some expenses after the deed, such as the mortgage loan installments (if applicable), insurance premiums, household expenses (water, electricity, gas, internet, telephone, furniture, appliances, decoration …) and taxes (IMI).

In the case of own and permanent housing, the IMI (Municipal Property Tax) is charged annually, and varies depending on the municipality and the property’s equity value. This tax is levied even for those not using home loans. Check the exemption cases and see if any applies to you.

Article in a Bestguide and Porta da Frente partnership

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