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No tax treaty between Finland and Portugal from 1 January 2019 onwards – effects on corporate taxation

Finland terminated its tax treaty with Portugal on 14 June 2018. As Portugal did not approve the new tax treaty by the end of November, there will be no tax treaty in force between Finland and Portugal from 1 January 2019 onwards.

The main reason for terminating the tax treaty related to the personal income taxation of Finnish pensioners in Portugal.

However, the absence of the tax treaty will have a major effect on companies carrying on business between Finland and Portugal. The most significant changes include:

  • Service fees paid from Portugal to Finland may be subject to 25% withholding tax.
  • Creation of permanent establishment will be determined based on the domestic law in Finland or Portugal – and there will be no exemptions based on the tax treaty.
  • Even though group internal interest and royalty payments may be exempt from withholding taxation based on the EU Interest and Royalties Directive, the direct ownership requirements of the Directive may restrict the application of the exemptions.

In practice, the tax burden of Finnish companies may increase significantly, if they receive payments from Portugal e.g. for management services or for project deliveries. Further, Portuguese companies carrying on business in Finland may become subject to Finnish corporate income taxation even if they carry on the activities only for a short period.

We recommend companies carrying on business between Finland and Portugal to review their transactions and agreements in place, as well as seek advice on whether the changes affect their business going forward.

Contact us

Catarina Gonçalves

Catarina Gonçalves

Partner, PwC Portugal

Tel: +351 213 599 618

Mirva Laaksonen

Mirva Laaksonen

Partner, Corporate Taxation, PwC Finland

Tel: +358 (0)20 787 7261

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