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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure PT-2020-16/410 Updated – measures in Portugal

Exceptional and temporary regime for compliance with fiscal obligations and social contributions

Regime excecional e temporário de cumprimento de obrigações fiscais e das contribuições sociais Regime excecional e temporário decumprimento de obrigações fiscais e contribuições sociais

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 12 April 2020 – 31 December 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Deferral of payments or liabilities
Author Heloisa Perista and Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS)
Measure added 09 April 2020 (updated 17 November 2021)

Background information

This exceptional and temporary measure provided for Decree Law 10-F/2020 of 26 March 2020 (amended by the Declaration of Rectification 13/2020 of 28 March 2020) aims at protecting companies in order to protect employment and jobs, and to create conditions to ensure, as much as possible, business survival. Tax and social contributions payment is thus flexibilised.

The measure published on 26 March applies retroactively from 12 March.

This measure seeks to address the economic impact of COVID-19 disease pandemic especially among the companies mostly affected by this exceptional situation.

Content of measure

Aiming at ensuring liquidity to businesses and to preserve their activity and respective jobs, this measure flexibilises payment of taxes and social contributions, keeping the punctual payment of levies.

It is approved:

  • A regime of flexibilisation of payments regarding VAT, withholdings on personal income tax and corporate income tax, due in the second quarter 2020;
  • A regime of deferred payment of social contributions due by employers and independent workers.

The measures approved aim to support SMEs, but their application to other businesses is not excluded, namely those experiencing a loss in their activity of at least 20%, as well as those that were shut down, by the Decree 2-A/2020 of 20 March, and to the aviation and tourism sectors.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

20 August 2021

Ordinance 8275/2021 of 20 August extends the deadline foreseen in Ordinance 2732/2021 of 4 March and Ordinance 6641/2021 of 30 June, and determines that:

  1. The deadline for employers referred to in Article 9-A (4) of Decree-Law 10-F/2020 of 26 March, in its current wording, to indicate in the Social Security Direct system which of the payment deadlines they wish to use under the extraordinary deferral of the payment of contributions for November and December 2020, is extended until 31 December 2021.
  2. The employers referred to in the previous number are those who, in the months of November and December 2020, benefited from the extraordinary incentive to normalise business activity created by Decree-Law 27-B/2020 of 19 June.
  3. In the cases referred to above, the payment deadlines shall begin in the month of December 2021.
07 August 2020

Taking into consideration the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Decree-Law 51/2020, of 7 August, amends article 4 of the Decree-Law 10-F/2020, in the following terms:

The deadline for employers to indicate in the Segurança Social Direta (Direct Social Security) which are the payment deadlines for deferred contributions, which they intend to use, is extended until August 2020.

Use of measure

Not available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions

Not available.


  • 26 March 2020: Decree Law No. 10-F/2020 of 26 March 2020 that ‘Establishes an exceptional and temporary regime for complying with tax obligations and for contributions in the context of the COVID-19 disease pandemic’ establishes (in Article 1, paragraph e) and in Article 6) the extraordinary extension of unemployment benefits and of all benefits of the social security system that guarantee subsistence minimums, and suspends the evaluation of conditions (means test) for maintaining social security system benefits. The measure published on 26 March applies retroactively from 12 March. Article 6 Extraordinary extension of social benefits 1 - Unemployment benefits and all benefits of the security system are extraordinarily extended guaranteeing subsistence minimums whose concession period or renewal term ends before the term referred to in paragraph 3. 2 - The reassessments of the conditions for maintaining the benefits of the Social Security payment system are extraordinarily suspended. Decreto-Lei n.º 10-F/2020 - Diário da República n.º 61/2020, 1º Suplemento, Série I de 2020-03-2 (
  • 28 March 2020: Declaração de Retificação n.º 13/2020 Declaração de Retificação n.º 13/2020 - Diário da República n.º 62-A/2020, Série I de 2020-03-28 (
  • 27 August 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 51/2020  Publicação: Diário da República n.º 153/2020, Série I de 2020-08-07 (
  • 20 August 2021: Despacho n.º 8275/2021 (


Eurofound (2020), Exceptional and temporary regime for compliance with fiscal obligations and social contributions, measure PT-2020-16/410 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.