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December 13, 2013
December 13, 2013

Portugal: Avaaz petition for the exemption of small farmers from VAT

Translator: Gustavo Roxo
Source: Avaaz  Categories: Letters from home, On the crisis
This article is also available in: elpt-pt
Portugal: Avaaz petition for the exemption of small farmers from VAT

Farmers demonstration in Lisbon, April 3, 2014


Small agricultural activity is threatened

We consider that the recent tax legislation in relation to invoicing is a threat to its continuity and existence. The blind implementation of invoicing to every product of any type will mean the dereliction and destruction of this economic and social activity and the subsequent abandonment of fields and the increasingly deeper depopulation of the country’s rural areas.

We consider that the extinction of this activity will result in irreparable losses: at the ecological level, it constitutes a threat to the environmental and climatic balance and to biodiversity; at a social level, it means the destruction of this source of support and solidarity; at a cultural and tourist level, it brings about the elimination of knowledge and traditions of identity, both a heritage and a source of wealth. The reality experienced by most small farmers is incompatible with this law because:

  • the practiced agricultural activity has the characteristics of subsistence, of small scale, not yielding, in most cases, an income justifying VAT payment (for which the minimum value is €10,000). Thus, it will not be effectively taxed and will not generate enough revenue for the state.
  • the costs (printing of receipts books , electronic equipment, working time) under this obligation, do not correspond to the income from the activity.
  • the characteristics of most of these producers (aged and inadequately literate) are inconsistent with this requirement.
  • local small producer markets were created to support them in distributing their products, and also bring this type of production closer to the populations, providing them quality. Therefore, we don’t consider that they represent taxable economical agents.

This legislation hinders the maintenance and growth of a traditional and family scale agriculture which constitutes an important activity at national level. Small farmers and consumers, in solidarity with them, demand:

  • the restoration of the exemption from the invoicing obligation of agricultural activity in accordance to Article 53 of the VAT code


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