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Taxation on holiday rental properties lifted in Portugal, affecting Airbnb listings.

The Government in Portugal has greenlit proposals to modify the regulations surrounding local accommodation (AL), a move embedded within the Mais Habitação program initiated by the previous administration. This includes the removal of the extraordinary contribution, impacting Airbnb operations in the country.

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Minister of the Presidency, António Leitão Amaro, emphasized that the Government's decisions aim to bring about fairness and moderation while rectifying past mistakes, particularly impacting Airbnb operators in Portugal.

"We have rescinded several regulatory restrictions and amended others, which had the effect of jeopardizing or invalidating licenses obtained by individuals who invested in the past decade, hoping for long-term returns. Unfortunately, their confidence in investment was betrayed by the actions of the State," he highlighted.

One of the measures involves rescinding the fixation of the aging coefficient, which had the practical effect of increasing the IMI (Municipal Property Tax) for properties used for local accommodation, including those listed on Airbnb.

The government anticipates collaboration from municipalities, empowering them to establish and enforce regulations tailored to their specific contexts, addressing concerns regarding short-term rentals such as those on Airbnb. This approach aims to foster diverse yet more balanced situations within each locality.

Municipalities are poised to assume a dual role, serving both as regulators and mediators in disputes among owners within properties under horizontal ownership, while also setting the terms for issuing and registering new licenses.

Leitão Amaro emphasized that these regulatory changes, particularly concerning licensing, do not signify unfettered deregulation of the market where local accommodation, including platforms like Airbnb, operates.

The minister criticized the previous socialist government, asserting that it unfairly targeted local accommodation in an attempt to deflect from its shortcomings, exacerbating the housing crisis. In contrast, the current administration has adopted a more balanced approach, recognizing the areas of heightened urban and tourist pressures.

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