Some types of investments in tourism, as the creation of new developments, or their remodelling, expansion and renovation, are eligible to apply for the Touristic Utility Statute that, once obtained, allows to profit from tax benefits over a period of up to 7 years.
Designated as Tourist Utility (UT- Utilidade Turística), this statute is an instrument for recognizing the quality and relevance of tourist enterprises and is assigned by the Secretary of State for Tourism, under the purview of the Ministry of Economy.
The categories that can apply for the allocation of the Tourist Utility Status are:
• Country Hotels;
• Holiday villages;
• Tourist complexes (Resorts);
• Equipment for entertainment, cultural and sporting events that are not a part of tourist complexes;
• Spa facilities;
• Enterprises for rural tourism;
• Developments of agro tourism considered of exceptional quality by a member of the Government responsible for Tourism.
The Touristic Utility Status is the qualification given to tourist developments that meet a set of requirements for the location, construction, equipment and services that are in accordance with the goals and guidelines for developing the National Strategic Plan for Tourism (PENT- Plano Estratégico Nacional de Turismo), including improvement works in a project aiming at the recovery or upgrading of the category, besides the improvement or increase in the quality of the provided services.
The Tourism Utility Statute can be attributed on a preliminary basis, shortly after the approval of the architectural design or definite until 6 months after the official opening of the business.
The tax benefits given with the statute of Tourism Utility (UT) include exemption of the property transfer tax (IMT – Imposto Municipal sobre as Transmissões Onerosas de Imóveis), a reduction of the Stamp Duty to a fifth, exemption of the Municipal Property Tax (IMI – Imposto Municipal sobre os Imóveis) for a period up to 7 years as well as a reduction of the fees owed to the General Inspection of Cultural Activities.