Do you have more pending invoices in E-Fatura than you want to validate them? See how much laziness to confirm expenses may be costing you.
By now, all Portuguese taxpayers know that they have invoices for their expenses recorded on the E-Fatura portal and that they need to go there urgently (Deadline ends February 25th) confirm the data of each one and associate it with the corresponding category. But it is also true that, by this time, there are hundreds pending invoices that many contributors accumulated on the portal due to lack of visits for validation.
The work is anything but pleasant: going frequently to the Finance Portal, authenticating with credentials that, most likely, you don’t even know by heart and you’ll have to go digging out of a folder kept in the back of your closet, and validating dozens of outstanding invoices .
However, validating invoices on the E-Fatura portal benefits everyone. It brings you advantages because you can adjust the categories and respective deductions, and with that increase the reimbursement or reduce the IRS to be paid.
It also benefits the State, because it facilitates the process of automatic submission of the IRS declaration and helps to control the flow of money. And finally, it benefits all taxpayers, because it is one of the most powerful tools to combat tax evasion.
We are, therefore, at the right time to roll up our sleeves and face outstanding invoices with courage. If you have not validated expenses throughout the year, they will certainly be many, but there is still time before the validation period ends.
What matters is that you understand what you are doing and, above all, why it is such an important task.
What are outstanding invoices?
Invoices are pending in the E-Fatura portal when the system does not know which category those expenses belong to. As you may already know, IRS tax deductions are allowed for certain types of taxpayer expenses – such as those related to education, health, workshops, gyms, social passes, veterinarians, for example. But to be able to assess the amount to be deducted in each category, you need to know which invoices fit into it.
In the case of taxpayers who are self-employed (even if they also work for others), invoices are pending until they indicate whether the expenses were incurred on a personal or professional basis.
This is the case with fuel invoices, for example, as this purchase can be for family use or to support the execution of an independent professional activity.
Pending invoices are on the E-Fatura portal, “tidy up” in a separate section, and are waiting for you to validate the expenses and help distribute them by categories. While this task is not done, processing is suspended.
Why validate pending invoices?
Solving all the pending invoices that accumulate on the E-Fatura portal is good for everyone, as we’ve already told you, but it’s particularly good for you, because it allows you to distribute expenses by the respective categories and thus make the most of deductions.
Otherwise, let’s see: if you can deduct 30% of education expenses and only 15% of health expenses, it is not at all in your interest to mix these invoices in the same “cake” and let the State treat them equally, because it will certainly lose money on it.
Likewise, if the invoices for a category have already reached the maximum deduction ceiling, you might want to start declaring invoices for other categories, to take advantage of the respective deductions. As you can see, there is no one more interested in validating outstanding invoices than the taxpayer himself.
Until when can you validate pending invoices?
Pending invoices in E-Fatura can be validated until February 25th. However, leaving all validations for this month is a bad practice, especially if you have a lot of expenses or if you add your invoices with those of other household members.
Leaving all validations for the last day can mean facing a list of hundreds and hundreds of pending invoices, concerning you, your partner and your children, which you will have to review one by one before the deadline. A lot of stress, many hours looking at the system and endless frustration join the list of descriptions of what awaits you.
If, on the contrary, you adopt the habit of visiting the E-Fatura portal regularly – it doesn’t even have to be every month, it can be every three months, for example – you manage to advance the service and save your “self” for the year following a marathon of pending invoices.
In addition, you gain time to complain: if you do not have invoices in the system, you have room to complain and correct the situation before Finance “closes” the process.
What happens to pending invoices that are not validated?
If you have pending invoices in E-Fatura and you do not validate them, when the validation period ends they will automatically move to the general family expenses category.
Although, from a legal point of view, this situation is not problematic, for you it can be a bad financial option. Remember that general and family invoices have a ceiling of 250 euros for each member of the household and this ceiling is very easy to reach.
You will almost certainly waste invoices (which don’t deduct anything on family overheads because they’ve already reached the maximum limit, nor do they deduct anything in the category they should have been associated with because they were never validated).
Article originally published in July 2019. Last updated in January 2023.