New NHR tax regime: IFICI

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The new NHR tax regime: Fiscal Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation (IFICI) Program


The new NHR tax regime (IFICI) is a tax regime designed for highly qualified professionals relocating to Portugal for both residence and employment purposes.


This new regime allows you to be subject to a special 20% Personal Income Tax rate (plus Social Security) on dependent or independent work-related income for a consecutive period of 10 years (non-renewable).


Tax Benefits:


Reduction of the personal income tax (PIT) rate on employment to 20%, as opposed to the usual 14%-53% progressive rates.


Exemption from income tax on most foreign income sources – exemption from all foreign income sources (except black-listed sourced), including:

  • Employment
  • independent work
  • capital investment income (interest/dividends)
  • royalties
  • capital gains (previously not exempt in most cases)
  • real estate income/gains.


Notably absent from this exemption are foreign pensions, which will now be subject to full taxation in Portugal at normal progressive rates (14.5% to 53%).



Comparison between regimes:


Conditions &

Types of income

NHR schemeNew NHR tax regime: IFICI
Conditions to benefit from the regime

·       Not having been a tax resident in Portugal in the previous 5 years

·       Not having been a tax resident in Portugal in the previous 5 years;

·       Not having benefit from the NHR or not choosing to be taxed under “ex-resident” rules

·       Having professional activity in Portugal (under the required conditions, accessed annually)

Employment Income /Self-employment income (Portuguese-sourced)20%

On eligible activities


On eligible activities + eligible entities (see below)

Employment Income /Self-employment income (foreigned-sourced)Exemption: dependant of effective taxation for employment income and dependant on the eligible activity and potential taxation abroad for self-employment incomeExemption
Dividends/Interest/RoyaltiesExemption (if taxable abroad under DTA or OECD Tax Model)Exemption
Capital Gains (moveable and immoveable assets)Exemption (if taxable abroad under DTA or OECD Tax Model); typically gains from the sale of moveable assets are not exemptExemption
Rental IncomeExemption (if taxable abroad under DTA or OECD Tax Model)Exemption


Pension Income10% fixed rateGeneral tax rates


Please note that income obtained in black-listed jurisdictions will not be covered by the new NHR tax regime: IFICI –  exemptions and may be subject to aggravated tax rates.


Eligibility requirements for the IFICI program are as follows:


  1. Taxpayers who establish tax residency in Portugal starting in 2024, under the terms of paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 16 of the IRS Code, and who have not been resident in Portuguese territory in any of the five previous years.
  2. Taxpayers who have not benefited from the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) regime in the past and do not opt to be taxed under the “ex-residents” regime.
  3. Activity eligibility:


A. Teaching in higher education and scientific research:

including scientific employment in entities, structures, and networks dedicated to knowledge production, dissemination, and transmission integrated into the national scientific and technological system. This primarily involves the hiring of Ph.D. holders or those integrated into the scientific research career, university teaching career, or higher education polytechnic teaching career for R&D activities. Given the requirement for integration into the national scientific and technological system, only Portuguese entities should be included.


B. Employee or member of the social bodies of entities recognized as technology and innovation centers:

These are entities dedicated to knowledge production, dissemination, and transmission. By definition, technology and innovation centers must have effective management and facilities in Portuguese territory and conduct their activities in Portugal.


C. Highly qualified professions, defined in a decree by government members responsible for finance and economy areas, developed in:
  1. Companies benefiting (or having benefited in the last 5 years) from our investment support tax regime (RFAI).
  2. Eligible industrial and service companies exporting (or having exported in the last 2 years) at least 50% of their turnover. These are companies that have made fiscally relevant investments under RFAI (mainly in technology) or have significant exports in eligible industrial and service sectors. Although a new list of highly qualified professionals has not been published, the list used for the previous expatriate regime (non-habitual residence) will apply. Eligible industrial and service companies should also be understood as those listed in this aforementioned list. Once again, these are companies with effective management and facilities in Portuguese territory that carry out their activities in Portugal.
D. Qualified jobs and members of social bodies in entities engaged in economic activities recognized by AICEP, E.P.E., or IAPMEI, I.P., as relevant to the national economy, particularly in attracting productive investment and reducing regional asymmetries.

We are still awaiting clarification on which economic activities AICEP and IAPMEI (public entities responsible for various certifications for innovation and economic activity) will consider as relevant. However, these are expected to be companies with effective management and facilities in Portuguese territory that conduct their activities in Portugal.


E. Research and development personnel, whose expenses are eligible for the Research and Development Tax Incentive System (SIFIDE).

These are companies making substantial investments in R&D in Portugal.


F. Jobs and members of social bodies in entities certified as startups. A startup is considered a legal entity that, concurrently:
  1. Have less than 10 years of activity.
  2. Have < 250 employees.
  3. Have ≤ €50 million in revenue.
  4. Does not result from a transformation or split of a large company and does not have any direct or indirect majority ownership by a large company.
  5. Are established in Portugal (or have at least 25 employees in Portugal).
  6. Demonstrate high growth potential or have received venture capital funds.
  7. Meets one of the following conditions:
  •  Is an innovative company with high growth potential, possessing innovative business models, products, or services, as defined by Ordinance No. 195/2018 of July 5th, or has been recognized for its suitability by the National Innovation Agency (ANI – Agência Nacional de Inovação, S.A.) in the practice of research and development activities or the certification process for technology sector companies.
  •  Having successfully completed at least one round of venture capital financing by a legal entity duly authorized for venture capital investment subject to supervision by the Securities Market Commission (CMVM) or a similar international authority recognized by CMVM. This may also occur through the contribution of equity or quasi-equity instruments by investors who are not founding shareholders of the company, including certified business angels by the Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation, IP (IAPMEI, IP). Note that this provision excludes companies engaged in promotion, intermediation, investment, or real estate development.
  •  Having received investment from Banco Português de Fomento, S.A., or funds managed by it, or its subsidiaries, or from one of its equity or quasi-equity instruments.


G. Jobs or other activities carried out by tax residents in the Azores and Madeira Autonomous Regions, as defined by regional legislative decree. Details on this regime are currently unavailable.


  1. You also have to engage in one of the eligible scientific research and innovation activities each year, with no intervals exceeding 6 months.


Considering the increased complexity involved, the tax analysis related to the new tax regime IFICI becomes crucial.

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Raquel de Matos Esteves / Inês Marques DiasRME LEGAL