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In general, and as provided for in article 2 of the IRS, the subsistence and transport allowances granted to employees of companies who travel on business are exempt from IRS (and from charges to Social Security), up to the limit of the established for State servants.

These figures are contained in legal diplomas. In addition to the aforementioned CIRS (article 2), Decree-Law n.º 106/98, of 24 April (namely article. December, which is in force and subject to regular updates, is all referred to as Law throughout this article.

Whenever these amounts are paid to their workers, companies must organize and maintain appropriate documentation, ensuring that, under no circumstances, there is any doubt that the amounts paid are confused with additional remuneration.

The application to the private sector of the exemption limits of the amounts paid to its workers is not always easy, given that the text of the Law was prepared for application to State servants. It starts right away with the function of “members of the Government”, which, when applied to the private sector, can be understood as members of the Administration/Management or the Board of Directors, but with debatable legitimacy. It is also difficult to establish equivalence to Public Administration remuneration levels, as it is not limited to the equivalence of remuneration between workers, in the absolute sense, of the two sectors of activity.

In these constraints and the absence of a text dedicated to the private sector, the equivalences that are developed below follow an understanding that the tax administration itself tends to recognize as valid over the years. Furthermore, if the legislator has never been concerned with this matter, then it is because it accepts the rules of the game, but it did not cost much to adjust the text of the Law so that the application of limits was clearer. It is that if these equivalences, for whatever reason, are not validated, the amounts paid can be considered to exceed the legal limits, and therefore be subject to tribulation.


The employer must organize and maintain adequate documentation, per travel/employee, that justifies:

  • The reason for the move
  • The nature of the expenses in each allowance granted (in the specific case of travel abroad, if they include daily meals, 30% will be deducted from the amount granted for each meal included, and if the employer supports the accommodation expenses, only 70% of the daily allowance will be awarded)
  • If the allowance is intended for travel to participate in internships or courses abroad, observing the provisions of article 3 of Decree-Law No. 192/95, of 28 July. The employer may apply any of the tables below, processing the daily values ​​of travel taking into account the professional levels or income levels of the subscriber.
National Travel (Mainland and Autonomous Regions)IRS and SS Exemption Limits
Other46.86 €
With payroll between Remuneration Level 9 and 18 (1 355,96 e 892,53 €)51.05 €
With payroll above Remuneration Level 18 (1 355,96 €)62.75 €
Members of government or equivalent in the private sector69,19 €
International Trips (abroad and overseas) 
Other111.88 €
With payroll between Remuneration Level 9 and 18 (1 355,96 e 892,53 €)131.54 €
With payroll above Remuneration Level 18 (1 355,96 €)148.91 €
Members of government or equivalent in the private sector167.67 €

The allowance for subsistence allowances cannot take place for more than 90 consecutive days. If this happens, these allowances become income from dependent work, therefore subject to IRS and Social Security contributions, in compliance with tax residency criteria and subject to the Social Security contributory regime.

In any event, the 90-day limit can be extended upon request to AT.

The above values ​​are the maximum exemption values, and the company can establish any allowance scale below or above those values, knowing that if higher, the surplus is subject to taxation.

Attention is also drawn to the fact that the allowance for subsistence allowances for the maximum amount accepted for tax purposes is incompatible with the allowance for accommodation or meal expenses. The payment of an allowance of this nature cannot, under any circumstances, result in a real increase in the worker’s remuneration, attracting taxation. The underlying logic of the subsistence allowance is that the employer bears the costs of travel.

It is also necessary to distinguish between daily trips that involve a single day and trips for successive days, in which the distance travelled from the necessary domicile (generally, the place of work, not residence) is different.

DAILY MISSIONS – more than 20 km from the required address
SUCCESSIVE DAILY MISSIONS – more than 50 km from the required address

Daily travel 
Covering the period between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.25%
Covering the period between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.25%
Involving overnight accommodation50%
Successive day trips 
Departure day 
until 1 p.m.100%
from 1 pm to 9 pm75%
after 9 p.m.50%
Arrival day 
until 1 p.m.0%
from 1 to 8 p.m.25%
after 8 p.m.50%
Remaining days100%

It is understood that the amounts and percentages indicated above may include, at least, one meal and/or overnight stay, and there is no room for the respective allowances when the employer directly reimburses the worker for the expenses incurred with accommodation and/or meals, upon presentation of the respective invoice.

The document supporting the payment of the allowance must include:

  • Departure and arrival times and the days on which you were displaced
  • Justification/nature of each trip, day by day
  • The respective daily and total allowance

It is important to point out that transport or kilometers travelled in the employer’s car are not included in the subsistence allowances, as described below.


As an example of allowances due for subsistence allowances and travel, also the alternative transport granted to company employees for the use of a car in service are exempt from IRS and Social Security contributions up to the limited reserved for State servants.

The document supporting the payment of the allowance must be transported:

  • Employer’s name
  • Distance covered, mentioning the day, point of departure and destination
  • Justification/nature of displacement
  • Vehicle registration number used
  • Travelled distance

The payment of additional receipt costs, against the delivery of a discharge signed by the official responsible for accounting for the possibility of an employer to account for the effective with COMCOM, even those documented by the fact of transport, on his behalf. Otherwise, the same cost would be double-accounted for.

Transportation in own vehicle0,40 €
Public transports0,12 €
Non-automotive motor vehicle transport0,16 €


It depends on how the subsidy is received and the amount. According to the most recent amendments, if you receive your food subsidy in cash and it does not exceed 5.20 euros, you are exempt from discounts for Social Security and IRS. This exemption is valid for both private and public service.
As for meal cards, the maximum tax-free amount is now 8.32 euros per day. If delivered in meal vouchers, the maximum amount exempt is 7.63 euros.

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