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Portuguese researchers petition to abolish VAT on science

An online petition to remove the tax on science in Portugal has garnered hundreds of signatures from academics, who say it has put Portugal at “a huge disadvantage when compared with its European partners”.

“In order to foster a global society based on knowledge, Portugal deserves a new deal for science and technology,” reads the petition, which launched last week. “Such exemptions exist because science is seen as a fundamental activity of society to solve the challenges of the future.”

Currently, Portuguese science is taxed as though it is a commercial activity. Portugal does not have a reimbursement scheme on VAT for scientific institutions, unlike its EU neighbours Germany, France and Spain, which either exempt science-related activities from the tax or reimburse them.

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