What Do You Need to Know About Portuguese Bonds?

What Do You Need to Know About Portuguese Bonds?

Daniel Hall 28/05/2024
What Do You Need to Know About Portuguese Bonds?

With stunning locations, sun, and a whole load of fun on offer, ‘the Florida or Europe’, Portugal has become a top location for expats and is now home to around 40,000 Brits.

Amongst benefits, including stunning scenery and friendly locals, many expats cite Portugal's low cost of living as a pressing reason for their move. Those financial benefits only increase for expats who invest in Portuguese bonds. 

Typically referred to as ‘the Portuguese investment bond,’ this tax-advantaged savings option sees expats who are already enjoying Portugal's low prices paying little to no tax on their incomes. This can prove transformative, considering that Portuguese tax rates generally range between 14.5% and 48%, depending on earnings, with a normal rate of around 28%. 

Proper financial planning is the only way to avoid this, and the Portuguese bond plays a key role in that for many expats. But what do you need to know about Portuguese bonds to feel their benefits? 


What is The Portuguese Bond?

Put simply, the Portuguese bond is a savings and investment vehicle for expats resident in Portugal, with a minimum investment of €100k. Investors place their money into the Portuguese Bond and leave it there for several years, both as a form of insurance and as a medium-long-term investment. When investors withdraw money from their Portuguese bonds, they’ll only pay taxes at a rate of 11.2%, which is significantly lower than the standard 28%. These taxes are not payable until the bond is surrendered, or a withdrawal occurs. 

The Portuguese bond is most lucrative for terms of eight or more years, as this allows for notable portfolio growth, as well as deferred tax relief. Investment growth depends on lucrative underlying investments, which are best made with the advice of a tax advisor familiar with Portuguese tax laws and regulations. 

Who Can Invest in The Portuguese Bond?

The Portuguese bond is ideally intended for any Portuguese residents who plan to remain in the country for at least five years. Retired expats may especially enjoy the tax-relief benefits on offer, while portfolio growth could result in a more comfortable Portuguese lifestyle. 

Non-residents can also invest in Portuguese bonds, but they must have a valid residency permit, and a Portuguese bank account to ensure eligibility. They should then transfer any money they intend to invest into their Portuguese account in advance. 

What Are the Benefits of Portuguese Bonds?

Portuguese bonds have two incredibly obvious benefits for expats – tax relief and the potential for wealth accumulation over time. However, when Portuguese bonds are invested in the right ways, they also offer benefits that include:

  • Legal tax reductions

  • No tax is payable until a policy is surrendered or a withdrawal is made

  • Tax is only payable on the capital gains in the value of the policy

  • No VAT on policy fees and charges

  • Policies that are pledgeable as loan security 

  • Portable policies that expats can convert to UK bonds if required

  • The ability to nominate tax-efficient beneficiaries for wealth transfer, and to change nominated beneficiaries at any point

  • Death payments out of the scope of Portuguese stamp tax

Portuguese bonds also benefit from pretty simple setups compared with more complex cross-border options like SIFs, SICAVs, SPFs or trusts. The help of a regulated financial professional like our team at The Wealth Genesis can especially help you to invest your money wisely, and enjoy these benefits in the not-too-distant future. 

Do Portuguese Bonds Carry Risks?

There is a certain level of market risk for any investment, and Portuguese bonds are no exception. Both potential benefits and risks come down to the underlying investments held in an account. This is why it’s always important to seek advice from a tax advisor with an in-depth knowledge of Portuguese investments, tax laws, and regulations. 

The main risks to note are those that are generally applicable to any form of investment, including – 

  • Interest rate risks: Bonds are always subject to interest rate risks, which, simply put, means that bond values decrease if interest rates rise.

  • Credit risks: If the issuer of any bond defaults on payments, there’s a risk of losing any investment. 

Make the Most out of your Investments

Portuguese bonds offer a great opportunity for expats to grow their earnings, defer tax payments, and pay less tax overall. This can make a huge difference to quality of life, future financial planning, and any Portuguese retirement plans. However, Portuguese bonds are only as powerful as the thinking behind them.

Like any investment, putting your money in the right places is key to enjoying the benefits that Portuguese bonds have to offer. We recommend you find a company who offers bespoke advice, Portuguese-complaint insurance and investment accounts, and an in-depth understanding of whether Portuguese bonds align with your investment objectives.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

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