In 2016, tax burden decreased to 34.4% of GDP (34.6% in the previous year), with a growth of nominal GDP (3.0%) higher than the increase in tax and social contributions revenue (2.5%). This increase in revenue was influenced by the positive performance of indirect taxes (4.5%) and social contributions (4.5%), while direct taxes revenue decreased (-1.9%).
Regarding direct taxes revenue, there was a decrease of 3.8% in individual income tax (IRS) and of 0.1% in corporate income tax (IRC).
Value added tax (VAT) revenue increased 2.5%, two percentage points below the change rate of indirect taxes. Among these taxes it should be highlighted the increases observed in revenues from tax on oil and energetic products (11.1%), from tax on motor vehicle sales (17.5%), from the excise duties on tobacco (9.3%) and from the real estate transfer tax collected by Local Government (15.3%). The revenue from real estate tax collected by Local Government declined for the first time since 2012(-0.8%).
Actual social contributions increased by 4.5% influenced by the increase in employment and by the restitution of wages of civil servants.
Excluding taxes received by the European Union Institutions, Portugal continued to register in 2016 a lower tax burden than the EU average (34.2% compared to 39.2% in the EU28).
In 2014, the VAT gap was estimated at 1,242 million Euros, corresponding to 7.8% of the VAT revenue of the year, diminishing 3.3 percentage points comparing with the amount estimated for the previous year (1,707 million Euros).