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Maximum payments in cash

Alan Taylor - 12-06-2019

Maximum payments in cash

Members may not be aware that there are now maximum limits for cash payments, in accordance with Decree Law 92/2017 (addition to the General Tax Law â€" Lei Geral Tributária). These limits are part of a package of measures to combat money laundering.

A resident in Portugal cannot make or receive payments in cash of €3,000 or more (or the equivalent in foreign currency). If you are a non-resident, the value can raise to €10,000, provided you do not act as a trader or businessman (in this case there is a maximum limit of €1,000).

This means that the limit of €3,000 (or €10,000 if non-resident) relates to all cash payments for goods or services, even if the amount is divided and each instalment falls below that limit. For example it is not permissible to pay in cash for an item valued €5,000, even if the payment is made in two instalments of €2,500 each. In such situations there is still an obligation to make payments without using cash.

Payments higher than the values stipulated by this law must be made by means of payment that allows the identification of the payer and recipient (bank transfer, check or direct debit) and determines that all payments must be made through a "means of payment that allows the identification of the respective recipient."

Whilst the law is intended to combat money laundering and false reporting, it doesn’t discriminate between the various kinds of transactions – for example selling vehicles and other personal goods privately. When registering the sale of a vehicle the law states that the value of the vehicle should be recorded on the form Requerimento Registo Automóvel in the Conservatória. In most cases this is not recorded, but in the future it may become a requirement of the registration of the sale, so Members should be aware when selling items with a value higher than €3,000 privately that in the future this may also affect the way payment is made. 

Cash transactions with values above legal limits, are subject to fines ranging from €180 to €4,500.

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