A brief overview of the recent alterations in the Portuguese legislation
The recent years have brought material and significant reforms into the Portuguese company legislation, with some amendments aiming to simplify company governing acts and procedures as well as diminishing bureaucratic aspects that so often stem the economic development of a company.
Thus, 2009 continued the trend and brought such important novelties as the new regime on cross-border mergers and a number of various other amendments that simplify and speed up internal mergers and acquisitions; annual corporate reporting – modernizing the Portuguese company law and increasing the compatibility annual accounts with the European standards; simplifying the application procedure for fiscal benefits, simplifying communication between companies and the state and establishing an obligation to register all the irrevocable powers of attorney. This quite impressive list would not be complete without mentioning the creation of the Company Card and the program called SIR (Soluções Integradas de Registo – Integrated Registrar Solutions) that allows registering commercial registrar acts, corporate real estate, company cars, IP matters, companies in one unique place instead of visiting dispersed institutions and thus, enabling an easier business running and making Portugal more attractive for foreign investors.
This done, the Government in 2010 got hands free for other matters and certainly for the ones of the vital importance at this moment – taxes. Indeed, it is not so easy to balance out the incentives and benefits and the income to the state treasury, especially with the heavy load of the budget deficit that Portugal tries to fight in various ways.
Thus, Labour Law, Decree-Order No. 125/2010, of 1 March 2010, sets up extraordinary hiring incentives for the year 2010 that includes incentives for employers hiring young first-time job seekers, beneficiaries of social reinsertion subsidy or invalidity pension, unemployed persons over 40 and with registered unemployment for the past 9 months, persons under 35 that have been providing services to the company on a free-lance basis or whose fixed term labour contract has elapsed. Also, the contributions to Social Security Fund paid by the employer are reduced by one percentage point.
On the other hand, the Individual Income Tax Code enacts the table of high added value activities that include architects, engineers, art professions...