Portugal's NHR Scheme: Tax Planning and Preparing for the Future

21 Nov 2023

The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime has positioned Portugal as an attractive destination for expatriates and professionals seeking beneficial tax conditions. Since 2009, the NHR scheme has offered a decade of tax incentives, including a flat income tax rate of 20% for certain professions and exemptions on foreign income. This initiative is a critical aspect of tax planning in Portugal, offering a unique opportunity for those seeking to optimize their tax situation.

Retirement Planning and the NHR Scheme

The NHR scheme has been particularly appealing for retirees, playing a vital role in retirement planning. The tax benefits provided by the NHR programme can significantly enhance the financial aspects of retirement in Portugal, offering a combination of high quality of life and favourable tax conditions.

Political Changes and the Future of the NHR Scheme

The stability of the NHR scheme, however, is now under question. The announcement by former Prime Minister Antonio Costa about plans to abolish the NHR scheme, followed by his resignation and subsequent government collapse, has led to political uncertainty. With elections scheduled for March 2024, the future of the NHR scheme hangs in the balance, impacting those relying on it for tax and retirement planning.

Preparing for Changes: Seeking Expert Tax Advice

In light of these developments, individuals currently benefiting from the NHR scheme must take proactive steps. It's essential to engage in strategic tax planning with the help of expert tax advice. This is particularly crucial for those whose NHR status is nearing expiration and those considering applying for Portuguese residency under this scheme.

Steps to Take:

1. Consult with Tax Experts: Obtain expert tax advice to navigate the complexities of the Portuguese tax system and explore the best strategies for your situation.

2. Review Retirement Plans: If the NHR scheme is a part of your retirement planning, consider alternative strategies to maintain financial stability in Portugal.

3. Applying for Portuguese Residency: Understanding the implications of potential changes in the NHR scheme is vital for those looking to apply for Portuguese residency. Expert guidance can help in making informed decisions.

4. Stay Informed and Flexible: Portugal's political and tax landscape is evolving. Keeping abreast of changes and be adaptable in your tax and retirement planning strategies.


The NHR scheme's uncertain future necessitates careful planning and consultation with tax professionals. Whether it's for retirement planning, tax optimization, or applying for Portuguese residency, expert tax advice can provide clarity and direction during these uncertain times. Current and prospective NHR beneficiaries need to prepare for a future where the benefits of the NHR may not be available, ensuring they remain compliant and financially secure in Portugal.


Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not a substitute for professional financial or tax advice. For personalised recommendations, please consult with a qualified expert. Images may be subject to copyright. 

Other News Articles