In 2015, tax burden increased by 4.4%, after increasing 2.1% in 2014, accounting for approximately 34.5% of GDP (34.2% in the previous year). This increase was influenced by the positive performance of direct taxes (2.6%), indirect taxes (6.0%) and social contributions (4.0%).
Regarding direct taxes revenue, there was a decrease of 1.4% in individual income tax (IRS) and an increase of 15.7% in corporate income tax (IRC).
In the case of indirect taxes, it is relevant to point out the behaviour of the value added tax revenues (VAT), with an increase of 4.7% and the increase of 10.4% in revenues from tax on oil and energetic products (ISP). The revenue from the excise duties on tobacco declined again (-1.1%).
Tax revenues from real estate tax collected by Local Government (7.7%), from tax on motor vehicle sales (22.8%) and from real estate transfer tax collected by Local Government (20.8%), continued to register strong growths.
Actual social contributions increased by 4.0% influenced by the increase in the number of beneficiaries with earnings reported to Social Security.
Excluding taxes received by the European Union Institutions, Portugal continued to register in 2015 a lower tax burden than the EU average (34.3% compared to 39.0% in the EU28).
In 2013 the VAT gap was estimated at 1,707 million Euros, corresponding to 11.1% of the VAT revenue of the year, diminishing 2.5 percentage points comparing with the previous year (2,196 million Euros).