On the culture that is Portugal

So, Portugal, like the UK, has feed in tariffs for solar. Actually makes sense here of course, given hours/days sunshine per year.

OK, so people have been installing stuff for a number of years.

New law announced. Oh, so you\’ll all have to pay income tax on the income of course. Despite the exemption of old for under €5,000 a year of such FIT income.

And, err, you\’ll all have to register as \”energy producing businesses\” as well. And as a business you\’ll have to pay social security taxes on the income as well. Oh, btw, given that you didn\’t so register when you set it up, despite our telling you that you didn\’t have to, we\’re going to fine you for being late.

And the income tax is retrospective. And the social security tax.

Something of a blinder, eh?

Another example from a brief perusal of the news stand.

Front page, local ex-mayor has been made head of the regional tourist board. Let\’s get some more tourists in, shall we, sort of thing.

Strapline on the side of the page to an internal story. How they\’re going to implement an additional tax on hotel rooms…….

BTW, anyone know the UK tax rules? Is cash from an FIT taxable? Further, what about the imputed energy you\’re not buying as a result of using your own solar power?

14 comments on “On the culture that is Portugal

  1. @S.E. Indeed, the UK is dreadfully badly governed, by people who shouldn’t be allowed out by themselves; but most places are even worse (I live in Italy – Q.E.D.)

  2. Pretty sure there’s a tax exemption in the UK, although can’t recall the details.

    Certainly no attempts to tax the imputed income; that would need a specific statute to do so.

  3. FIT income received by individuals who “use renewable technology to generate electricity mainly for their own use” is exempt from income tax. There is no similar exemption for business users, who must declare FIT income as part of their taxable revenues.

  4. Portugal is a truly Kafkaesque dysfunctional state.

    Exhibit 1 (some time ago)
    I was born in Lisbon and brought up in the Alentejo. Always used my Blighty passport though (didn’t want to get conscripted into the military you see). Anyway later as an adult and resident I had to apply for an ID card. Took my (Portuguese) birth certificate along to the Registo Civil and was promptly told that it was out of date. Oh yes; they’re only valid for 6 months you see…and back then you could only be issued with a birth certificate in the Registo Civil of the parish in which you were born. So after a 450km round trip to Lisbon and my pockets several Escudos lighter (actually several “contos” lighter), I went back to the Registo Civil wiht my newly minted birth certificate. But apparently my 3 photographs were not identical; taken in a passport photo booth one after the other but slightly different in an almost indiscernible way. So off to the photographer shop, got my 3 copies of the same photo and confidently strode into the Registo Civil again. Only to be told that I had transgressed Portuguese law because as a Portuguse citizen because I was obliged to inform the state I had got married abroad, furthermore my British wedding certificate had to be translated into Portuguese and the translation had to be witnessed by the vicar who had signed my original marriage certificate in the presence of the translator so that so that the vicar could verify that the translation was accurate……. To this day my Portuguese ID card has my marital status as xxxxxxx.

    Exhibit 2 (recent)
    Friend of mine just back from half-term break with the bairns in the Algarve; went fishing on the beach…….. on a Wednesday… was approached by two armed GNR and told that fishing on a Wednesday is illegal, confiscated his rod, wasted hours of his time form filling and tried to give him Euro 1,200 on the spot fine! There were no signs saying no fishing. He’s been going to the Algarve every year for as long as I’ve known him; never again.

  5. The pay in tariff never made any sense for a home user. Only large suppliers would be able to get any use out of it and from what I understand there was some creative accounting as usual around the whole process.

  6. On the hotel room tax – I take it there’s no equivalent of Business Rates over there? A beachfront hotel in a nice tourist town in the UK would pay a fair amount in business rates. It all goes into the national pot, rather than local, but the principle is reasonably sound. No need to mess around with specific taxes for different sectors: next your mayor will be proposing a cafe tax, a restaurant tax, a golf club tax, etc.

  7. “Tim Newman // Nov 9, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Quite a few European countries charge a tax to stay in hotel rooms, per adult guest.

    True although during an awful recession with an over valued exchange rate might be the worst time to introduce one.

  8. This is how governments behave. I would hazard a guess that many who installed these panels are left-leaning and favour a larger State. Well, you’ve got it now chaps, but maybe for the first time it is you being fucked. Amusing.

  9. At a guess – is the FIT an eu directive driven thing? This may be an attempt to comply with the EU dictat while not actually having to pay out any significant amount…

  10. SE:
    “I don’t know why I’m still amazed that it is actually possible to be worse governed than the UK is.”
    No matter how badly fucked up something is, it can always get worse.

  11. @Lotus 51

    “Portugal is a truly Kafkaesque dysfunctional state”

    Swings and round abouts eh? Some things are great

    I’m not sure about the law but the liquor licensing seemed great (or basically nonexistent), like you can buy a beer from a hot dog stand. I’m not sure if that’s official policy or just a lack of enforcement

    I used to live in the Bairro Alto for a long time. I can remember when I first got there skinning up a joint in the street, turning around and seeing a cop car, I sort of panicked and they just laughed and say “don’t worry everything is legal here”.

    One thing that did shock the hell out of me was that the countries broke and last time I was back there last August the government seems to have build some massive brand spanking new offices on the waterfront by the train line past Passieo Maritimo. Does just make you think WTF?

    I reckon if Manuel João Vieira from Ena pa 2000 was president and Nuno Duarte from Vai Tudo Abaixo was prime minister you’d probably have a great little libertarian State!!

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