he personal income tax (IRS) is one of the most important taxes in Portugal, and submitting your annual tax return can be a confusing process. This process involves completing various procedures - at different times throughout the year -, the dates of which is essential to know.

In this article, we'll guide you through the 2024 IRS calendar so that you can file your tax return with peace of mind and avoid penalties.

Deadlines for filing the 2024 personal income tax return

The personal income tax return referring to the income for 2023 begins on April 1, 2024. However, before this date, there are other procedures associated with it, which are worth mentioning.

Until February 15

You must report any changes to your household that occurred in 2023. You must do this if there has been a birth, divorce, marriage, change of parental agreement, death of one of the spouses or even a change of permanent residence. If you don't, the Tax Authority (AT) will consider the information in the last tax return submitted.

To report changes, go to "IRS Household Data" ("Dados Agregado IRS") in the "IRS" section, available in the list of services on the Portuguese tax office portal. Choose the "Communicate Household" ("Comunicar Agregado Familiar") option and enter the requested data.

Until February 15, the 2024 IRS calendar also allows you to communicate the sharing of expenses of dependents in joint custody.

The same goes for a possible option of joint taxation for the purposes of the IMI surcharge. By default, the tax authorities consider that couples should be taxed separately, so if you choose otherwise, you must notify them on the tax office portal.

Until February 28

Until the end of February, taxpayers' expenses must be validated on the "e-Fatura Portal", accessible through the tax office portal. Pending invoices must be validated individually, confirming the category they fall into. This process must be carried out for each member of the household, including children.

From March 15 to 31

During this period you can check the amounts eligible for deduction on the tax office portal. In addition to the amounts previously available on the "e-Fatura Portal", you can also confirm those relating to rents, tuition fees and housing loans, among others.

The amounts of expenses and deductions are available on a new page in the IRS personal area on the tax office portall. Note that this page is different from the one you will have already consulted on the "e-Fatura Portal".

In addition to expenses proven by invoices, you will have access to other deductible expenses in the 2024 IRS, incurred by entities exempt from issuing invoices. These include home loan interest, rents, user fees and tuition fees. Within the household, this data must be consulted for each expense holder, including dependents.

It is important to confirm these figures, bearing in mind that if there are any discrepancies, you also have until March 31 to claim them. Please note, however, that you can only submit a claim for general and family expenses and for expenses for which an invoice is required (which reduce the VAT amount).

Until March 31

Until March 31st, you can donate 0.5% of your personal income tax (IRS) or 15% of your VAT, by choosing the organisation you wish to support. Although this is the deadline for indicating your chosen organisation in advance, you can also do so when submitting your tax return.

By this date, and for refund purposes, you must also register or update your IBAN details on the tax office portal.

From April 1 to June 30

The deadline for submitting the 2024 IRS, referring to 2023 income, is April 1 to June 30, regardless of the income category. This must be done online, using your access data to the tax office portal.

For some taxpayers, the Automatic IRS function will be available, with a pre-filled form. In this case, and since it is not possible to make changes to the form, if you detect any non-compliant information, you should disregard the automatic feature and fill in the form manually.

At this point, consult the instructions for filling in the form if you have any questions.

Until July 31

After the deadline for submitting the IRS return has passed, and until July 31, the tax authority in Portugal sends out the Assessment Note ("Nota de Liquidação"). This document shows the calculation of the tax and indicates the amount to be received or paid.

It is also until July 31 that the Tax Authority refunds taxpayers, if applicable. However, if you submit your tax return in April or May and are entitled to a refund, you can expect to receive it by the end of June.

It is important to note that both the Assessment Note and the refund, if due, only happen by this date if the deadline for submitting the declaration has been met.

Until August 31

If, on the other hand, you have to pay additional tax to the government, and you have met the IRS filing deadline, you must pay it by August 31. If you haven't done so by the deadline, you have until December 31 to make this payment.

What happens if you miss the IRS 2024 deadline?

Compliance with tax obligations by Portuguese citizens is essential, and the IRS is no exception. Missing the deadlines for submitting your tax return can result in a fine.‍

According to the General Regime of Tax Violations, this fine can vary between 150 and 3,750 euros, depending on the extent of the delay and how the situation is regularised.

In the event of non-compliance, it is advisable to seek information from the tax authority in order to understand the measures necessary to correct the situation. This should be done as soon as possible to avoid a higher fine.

It is therefore essential that you pay attention to the IRS dates in order to avoid possible financial penalties and ensure compliance with your tax obligations.

How does Automatic IRS work?

Automatic IRS is an Portuguese tax authority service that allows you to fill in your tax return automatically based on the income and expenses communicated by third parties. Automatic IRS submission is similar to manual submission, but is not available to all taxpayers.

Go to the tax office portal and log in with your access data. If the automatic IRS is available to you, you will see that on the page dedicated to the IRS, as there will be a menu with the title "Automatic IRS", which you should access by clicking on "Confirm Declaration". Go through all the sections of the form and confirm the data it contains.

At the end of the form you can choose to be taxed jointly or separately, if you are married or unmarried. You can also indicate whether you want to pay personal income tax and/or VAT.

Finally, you will be told the amount to be paid or received, and asked to confirm the IBAN. You can submit your tax return and download the receipt.

If Automatic IRS is available and you don't submit your tax return, this pre-filled tax return is automatically considered to have been submitted. If it is not available, you will have to submit the tax return manually, i.e. by filling in all the fields on the form.

How do I know if I'm going to pay or get money after submitting my IRS form? And how much will I get?

The IRS math works as follows: specific deductions are subtracted from the overall income, resulting in the taxable income, to which the IRS rate is applied to determine the total collection. The deductions from the taxable income and the municipal benefit, if applicable, are deducted from this figure, giving the net taxable income.

If this is lower than the withholding tax, a refund will be made; if it is higher, the taxpayer will have to pay additional tax.

To make this math easier, simulators have been designed to calculate the amount of tax to be paid or received by entering specific data. Go to Coverflex's IRS 2024 simulator, enter your income, expenses and deductions, and get an estimate of your IRS amount.