Portugal’s tax authority seized 300,000 bank accounts and properties last year, a drop of 17% and the lowest number since 2014.
Despite the overall drop, real estate seizures increased between 2017 and 2018, rising from 16,166 to 18,008, including industrial and commercial buildings, lots of construction land, other land and houses.
In May 2016, new legislation permitted the seizure of primary dwellings but that the tax office may not auction off the property, which it confirmed had been the case.
The number of seized vehicles reached 27,490, a rise of more than 5,000 compared to 2017.
The seizures usually are of money, deposited securities or financial investments, income, salaries and pensions, even if the taxpayer has property to offer.
The overwhelming majority of taxpayers end up paying the debt before the attachment takes place. This explains why in 2017, a total of 2.7 million seizures were advised but only 367,801 actually were made.