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How to Report and Lodge a Complaint Against a Landlord to the Finanças Authority in Portugal


Accounting Firm in Lisbon

In Portugal, there are unfortunately numerous scenarios where reporting abusive conduct becomes necessary. Whether it's a landlord failing to provide an invoice or contract, or a trader engaging in tax evasion, there are avenues for reporting individuals or companies who breach Portuguese law. If you want to know how to anonymously report a landlord or trader to the Finanças online, read on for detailed guidance.

While avoiding generalizations, it's important to acknowledge that in Portugal, instances of tax misconduct are regrettably prevalent. From corruption to the omission of invoices, or failure to collect VAT, there are numerous ways individuals and businesses can fall victim to financial wrongdoing. Fortunately, both individuals and companies have the option to report tax fraud, landlords who neglect to provide receipts, individuals who refuse to issue invoices, and other tax irregularities to the Portuguese tax authorities. These reports can be submitted anonymously or with your identity, depending on your preference. The Portuguese law is clear: "Any person may report a tax offense to the competent tax authorities" (art. 60, no. 2 of the RGIT). It is the civic duty of citizens to report illegalities of a fiscal nature, whether they affect them directly or not." Various situations that can be reported and brought to the authorities' attention include:

  1. Failure to issue an invoice (by landlords or traders).

  2. Providing services without charging VAT.

  3. Undeclared rental agreements.

  4. Neglecting to issue rental receipts.

  5. Operating unreported business activities.

  6. Dealing with counterfeit goods.

  7. Displays of unexplained wealth.

  8. Receiving a portion of one's income without tax obligations and reporting only the minimum wage.

  9. Misuse of subsidies and social assistance programs.

This article doesn't judge whether it's right or wrong to report a landlord or trader for illegal activities, nor does it debate the pros and cons of reporting. Some people trust their landlords, employers, or traders completely, often due to their lack of knowledge or naivety. By the time they realize they're being scammed, it's often too late.


It can be really tough to handle a dishonest landlord, especially when you're young and don't speak the language, or to deal with an employer who takes advantage of their position. This article provides four ways to report such issues to the Portuguese tax authorities.

Reporting to Tax Authorities or Finance Inspectorate via a Written Complaint or Online


Filing a Complaint on the Finanças Portal

There is one last way to report someone to the Portuguese tax authorities, and it is surely the most effective.


To do this, you need to access the website of the General Tax Inspectorate, available by clicking here. It is not the Finanças website but it is part of it.


The first question asks if "the denunciation concerns tax matters (taxes)?". If you select "Yes", you are informed that you have to do so by e-mail to at@at.gov.pt (previous chapter). If your whistleblowing concerns other areas such as private companies or public administrations, then you can select "No".


Then you have to select the "Area of intervention" and fill in the different forms that are presented:

  • "Participant": this is the person who denounces

  • "Lawyer": if the denunciation is made via a lawyer, this is where you should specify it

  • "Targeted entity": this is the company that is being reported

  • "Description of the participation": the most precise description, with supporting documents, of the situation to be reported should be sent.

Portugal

The report can be anonymous, just select the option "Participant requests anonymity - Yes". You can also attach documents to support the complaint.


For example, if your landlord has not sent you an invoice/contract but you pay him/her by bank transfer or any kind of conversation via phone or message, feel free to send proof of payment.

By a Written Complaint

This is the most "classic" way to report someone to the tax authorities. When filing a complaint by letter, you should provide as much information as possible about the situation, justify it, and attach any additional information you may have in your possession.


Note that you should use registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt and keep a copy. Send it to the tax office of your tax residence or to the General Inspectorate of Finance. The contact details of the latter are as follows


Address for the General Inspectorate of Finance Headquarters:

Headquarters:

Rua Angelina Vidal, 41

1199-005 Lisboa

Phone: (+351) 218 113 500


Regional Centre in Porto:

Rua Dr. Alfredo Magalhães, 8-2º

4000-061 Porto

Phone: (+351) 218 113 681


Making a Report via Telephone


This is not the best way to report an illegal situation, especially if you do not speak the language. However, it is possible to file a complaint with the Portuguese tax authorities by calling +351 217 206 707.


There is a big difference with other forms of reporting. Indeed, the Portuguese Tax Code stipulates that "the verbal denunciation will only be followed up after the establishment of the identification warrant of the denouncer". In other words, the denunciation cannot be anonymous by telephone.


Whistleblowing Through Email

Thanks to new technologies, it is now possible to make a denunciation to the Portuguese tax authorities by email. To do so, you just need to write directly to the Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira's e-mail address: at@at.gov.pt


It is advisable to detail the situation as much as possible with as much information as possible and identify the parties involved.









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