New rates yet to be announced

The Portuguese yacht tax – rather like the road tax levied in the UK – is becoming more complex says Yachting Monthly reader Terry O’Brien, who moors his boat Selene at the Marina de Lagos.

Terry, said: ‘Portugal has a national “Circulation Tax” – effectively a Road Tax on all vehicles – but which also applies to all recreational yachts and motorboats.  The law applies to yachts “kept in Portugal for a period greater than 183 days”, and this has been interpreted differently for yachts kept in marinas, only 20 miles apart!
‘In 2010, “Lagos Navigators Club” and Ingrid Fortunato, the manager of Marina de Lagos, obtained this formal clarification of the law, from the Central Finance Office in Lisbon.The tax is applied to all foreign-registered yachts kept anywhere in Portugal, either ashore or afloat, for a continuous period of more than 183 days in any tax year. There is then a 30-day period, within which the tax must be paid.
‘In Portugal, the calendar year is the Tax Year.   This clarification means that if a yacht arrives in Portugal after 2nd July, it cannot become liable in that tax year.  If it is in Portugal on 1st Jan, it would only become liable for the tax on 4th July (and the tax must then be paid by 3rd August).   Therefore, the standard 9-month winter contract avoids this tax.  
And, at least in theory, a yacht kept in Portugal over a whole tax year, would only need a documented absence – from say 1st to 5th July – to avoid legal liability.
‘The local nature of the tax means that there is – at the moment – no exchange of information between tax offices. But beware – the Portuguese tax systems are becoming more sophisticated.

‘Boats with an engine of less than 20 Kw. (= 26.82 HP) or registered before 1986, are exempt from the tax.  There is no requirement to register or to claim this exemption.From 2008, “Boat Tax” became based on engine power only.  It uses Kilowatts as the measure, and the rate for 2009 was €2.10 per Kw.  As 1 HP = 0.7457 Kw, the tax is about € (Horsepower X 1.5).  The rate for 2010 has not yet been established.’  

Full details from the Lagos Navigators Club web site,