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Newsletter September 2017

Legal Updates

Judgment of the supreme administrative court no. 4/2017 - Standardization of Jurisprudence

The judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court (No. 4/2017) standardized the understanding of the courts regarding the kind of interests due when there is an unlawful breach of a final decision concerning the taxes which ought to be refunded to the taxpayer (see Art. 43, no. 5 of the GTL – General Taxation Law).

This requirement was eminent given the publication of judgments of higher courts with opposing understandings on this matter, recent decisions (as this one) have considered legally inadmissible the condemnation of interest on arrears and indemnity on the same amount and for the same period of time.

In fact, the Supreme Court have reiterated that the Tax Administration (TA) is a public entity, and therefore it is especially bound by the compliance with the court’s final judicial decisions. Additionally, having an evident sanctioning function (by defining a tax in favour of the taxpayer equivalent to twice of the rate of default interest defined, in the general law, for debts to the State), the legislator had the intention to punish situations of serious non-compliance. Consequently will not be contrary to the law require the cumulative payment of interest on arrears and indemnity.

In conclusion, in view of the provided in paragraph 5 of art. 43 of the GTL, the Court have recognized as being admissible the cumulative allocation of interest on arrears and indemnity, calculated in accordance with this legal provision, on the same amount and over the same period of time.

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New legal regime of the central register of the effective beneficiary

On 21.08.2017, Law No. 89/2017, August 21st, was published, which approved the Legal Regime of the Central Registry of the Effective Beneficiary (“RCBE”), which will come into force 90 days after the date of its publication, which is 20th November 2017.

Under this new Regime, will be covered by the Central Registry of the Effective Beneficiary the following entities: associations, cooperatives, foundations, civil and commercial companies, international legal entities, trusts and external financial branches registered in the Madeira Free Zone, fiduciary structures and other legal arrangements with a similar structure or functions as long as they meet certain conditions.

Commercial companies and other entities will have the duty to declare to the competent authorities the information deemed to be sufficient, accurate and up-to-date of their effective beneficiaries, as well as the circumstances indicating that quality and the economic interest held in them.

Regarding the beneficial owner and the natural persons referred to above, the following shall be declared:

i) full name (ii) date of birth iii) place of birth (iv) nationality or nationalities (v) full address of permanent residence, including the country (vi) information contained in the identification document vii) taxpayer number, when applicable, and, in the case of foreign citizens, the taxpayer number issued by the competent authorities of the State, or States, of their nationality, or equivalent number (viii) email address, if any.

The recent law also states that the non-compliance of the obligation to have an updated record with the identification elements of the effective beneficial, by commercial companies, constitutes a misdemeanour punishable by a fine of € 1,000 to € 50,000.

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Business Updates

Portugal Digital week 2017

The new edition of Portugal Digital Week will take place between October 9th and 13th and will promote several activities aimed at promoting, educating and empowering the Digital Economy and Society in Portugal, making the country an international reference in the sector. Among the initiatives that will take place, we highlight the Portugal Digital Summit’17, which will occur on 10th and 11th October, which aims to be a space for debate on the Future of Society and the Digital Economy. This event brings together important national and international speakers, leaders of large companies and organizations from several sectors and representatives of national and international authorities, most of them from Portugal and France, which is the guest country of this edition.

Also worthy of note is the France-Portugal eCommerce Roundtable, which will have 30 participants from various organizations and public and private entities, where the opportunities, challenges and potential of cross-border e-commerce will be discussed.

A final highlight for the “Dia de Compras na Net”, on October 13th, which offers 24 hours of great discounts and promotions, including free shipping, vouchers and promotions on specific products, online purchases on websites and e-commerce stores.

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Portugal gets out of "Garbage" rating

With the disqualification of Portugal as “rubbish” from the rating by Standard and Poor’s, domestic and foreign analysts anticipate the reduction of interest rates for sovereign debt. This implies that as of this month, international investors who were previously unable to purchase Portuguese debt may also have access to this opportunity of investment.

The expansion of the range of possible investors in the country and in national companies enables a more positive future. The speculative effect of the rating changes for the first level of investment is thus evidence of the stable growth of the country, as well as the opportunities for Portugal to enter the portfolio of international investors. The growth of the country, which was already positive in recent years, is consequently more stable with the change in rating.

This way, can be anticipated a rise of foreign investment at all levels, in Portugal, with the market increasingly solid, mainly with a strong growth in real estate and business areas.

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