Governo lança novo incentivo fiscal à investigação científica e à inovação

Government launches new fiscal incentive for scientific research and innovation.

With the end of the Non-Habitual Resident Regime (NHR), the Government announces a new tax incentive: now for scientific research and innovation. Learn how this new regime works, then.

24 Jan 20243 min

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Discover the "new RNH 2.0.": A fiscal incentive for research and innovation.

After the Non-Habitual Residents Regime (NHR) has ended, even though there is a transitional rule for the application of the regime for those who benefitted or were in the process of transferring fiscal residence to Portugal, the Portuguese government now launches a new tax incentive to attract talent and promote research and innovation in the country.

The "new RNH 2.0" will have some requirements for a taxpayer wishing to access it, such as becoming a tax resident in Portugal, not having been a tax resident in the previous 5 years, and not receiving income in certain professional categories.

So, the eligible professions for this scheme are:

  • Professors in higher education and researchers in the national system of science and technology, and professionals from recognized technology and innovation centers.
  • Skilled work professions and members of social bodies in entities benefiting from tax incentives for productive investment;
  • Highly skilled job positions in the fields of finance and economics;  
  • Professionals from companies with a history of tax support for investments and in industrial and service companies that have significant exportation; 
  • Skilled job professions, and members of social bodies in entities recognized by AICEP, EPE, or by IAPMEI, IP, as important for the national economy;
  • Research and development professionals, especially PhDs whose costs are eligible for the Tax Incentive System for Business Research and Development (SIFIDE).
  • Professionals and members of social bodies in entities certified as start-ups, under the terms of Law No. 21/2023, of May 25.

What does this regime guarantee fiscally, in terms of advantages?

In addition to a special rate of 20% on professional income (employment contract or provision of services), the regime allows for exemption on most income received abroad, as in the NHR, except for retirement pensions.  

This new tax incentive will be available for a period of 10 years consecutively, as long as the taxpayers benefiting from it remain tax residents in Portugal and receive income from eligible activities.

Please note that taxpayers who have already benefited from NHR or are taxed under the Ex-Residents regime (or Return Program) cannot access this regime.

For now, it is not yet possible to perceive the impact of this new incentive to research and innovation, as it has not yet been published in the regional decrees and regulations. However, a limited applicability can already be observed, even with the regions of Azores and Madeira approving the NHR regime in the same way.

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