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24 June 2013

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Introduction of general anti-avoidance rules announced

On 23 April 2013, the government introduced the strategic lines for growth, employment and industrial development, based on seven main areas: training and qualification, financing, corporate consolidation, promotion of investment and tax competitiveness, internationalization, innovation and entrepreneurship, and logistics infrastructure.

Regarding the tax area, the aim is to increase the overall level of investment in Portugal by providing for a more modern, competitive and stable corporate taxation system.

The measures to be taken include the review of the corporate tax system in order to:

-   simplify the corporate income tax (IRC);
-   redefine the corporate tax base;
-   revaluate the nominal corporate income tax rate; and
-   review some fundamental schemes to promote domestic and foreign investment, employment and competitiveness, and the internationalization of Portuguese companies.

The government pointed out that the measures to implement the strategic reforms will focus on the following ten priority areas of corporate income tax:

-   Broadening the tax base of corporate income tax.
-   Progressive reduction of tax rates.
-   Simplification of the system and elimination of reporting obligations of companies.
-   Revaluation and reformulation of existing tax benefits.
-   Strengthening the principle of territoriality, particularly in relation to the taxation of dividends and losses.
-   – Review of the special group taxation regime.
-   Review of the tax regime applicable to tax losses.
-   Extending the rules applicable for the correction of excessive corporate indebtedness.
-   Strengthening the coordination between corporate income tax and accounting principles.
-   Review of international tax policy with the aim to protect businesses and promote their internationalization.

Further, in order to promote investment, the government announced the approval of the following tax measures:

-   Extraordinary Investment Tax Credit (CFEI).
-   Strengthening the Fiscal Regime for Investment Support (RFAI).
-   Extension of the Contractual Tax Incentives.
-   Reduction of the timing to provide for rulings to the taxpayer.
-   Creation of the Office of Fiscal International Investors.
-   Introduction of the cash accounting regime for VAT.

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