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Decree Law No. 36-A/2011

Publication: Republic Diary No. 48/2011, Series I of 2011-03-09
  • Issuer: Ministry of Finance and Public Administration
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 36-A/2011
  • Pages: 1344-(2) a 1344-(11)

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law:

  • establishes new accounting rules for micro-entities and non-profits
  • introduces into the Portuguese law the European directives 2009/49/EC, which define the obligations of medium-sized enterprises and the obligation to present consolidated accounts, and 2010/66/EU, on value added tax (VAT) refund..
What will change?
Simplified accounting rules for micro-entities

A micro-entity is an enterprise that complies with at least two of the following conditions:

  • sales of 500,000 euros or less
  • five employees or less
  • company assets of 500,000 euros or less.

Micro-entities don’t have to follow the same rules of accounting as other companies. They must follow a simpler set of rules – the Accounting Standards for Micro-entities (NCM). However, they can choose to apply the accounting standards used by other companies.

They must present the following accounting reports every year:

  • balance sheet
  • income statement by nature
  • micro-entities annex

They don’t have to present:

  • cash-flow statement
  • statement of changes in own funds.

Micro-entities that don’t follow the NCM rules may pay a fine from 500 to 15,000 euros.

New accounting rules for non-profits

Like micro-entities, non-profits (e.g. associations and foundations) benefit from their own accounting rules.

They must present the following accounting reports every year:

  • balance sheet
  • statement of earnings by nature or function
  • cash-flow statement
  • statement of changes in own funds (optional, unless it is requested by the financing public entity)
  •  annex.

These accounting rules don’t apply to non-profits if sales and other income on the previous two financial years is less than 150,000 euros.

In this case, non-profits only present:

  • payments and revenue
  • fixed assets
  • accrued income and accrued expenses.

If they are part of a group of entities the parent-entity has to report the consolidated accounts, that is, accounts referring to the whole group. They don't need to do this if the group complies with two of the following conditions:

  • sales or income of 10 million euros or less
  • 250 employees or less
  • global assets of 5 million euros or less.

Consolidated accounts must be certified by a chartered accountant, who will verify if the reports reflect the real financial situation and results of the group’s activity.

The accounts of non-profits must also be certified by a chartered accountant if, for two consecutive years, they don’t comply with, at least, two of the following conditions:

  • sales or income of 3 million euros or less
  • 50 employees or less
  • global assets of 1.5 million euros or less

Non-profits that don’t comply with the accounting rules may have to pay a fine of 500 to 15,000 euros.

Simpler accounting rules for groups of companies

Groups of companies must present consolidated accounts, which integrate the accounts of all companies in the group, that is, the parent company and its subsidiaries.

From now on, the parent company doesn’t have to include on the consolidated accounts the companies that do not affect the financial situation or the results of the group’s activity.

New deadline to request 2009 VAT refund

VAT taxpayers can ask for a refund of the VAT they pay to suppliers from other European Union countries. The deadline to request a refund of VAT referring to a certain year is normally 30 September of the following year.

As an exception, the deadline for requesting a refund of the 2009 VAT will be extended until 31 March 2011.

What are its advantages?

This decree-law is intended to:

  • reduce costs for companies and non-profits of complying with their accounting obligations, allowing them to use their resources on more productive activities
  •  ensure that the information reported by companies and non-profits is transparent and adequate to the needs of those who will use it.
When does it come into effect?

This decree-law comes into effect the day after being published.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.