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How do the Portuguese feel about Finanças?

So for context : I live in Portugal and I take learning the language seriously. I read a lot of books in Portuguese and I can communicate okay enough but not perfectly. In general Portugal is one of the harder countries in learning the language because most often a younger person will switch to English when they notice I am not Portuguese, I struggle A LOT with the accent, especially with older people.

Which leads me to my delightful present issue. Due to the pandemic my working hours have gone down, so I looked for some other work to supplement. I worked for a month and long story short, due to misunderstanding with finanças (like I mentioned, on the phone trying to understand the details) I now have to pay a fine for not reporting income (the problem was I understood because the money came in October that was the 4th quarter, but the invoice was dated back to the final day of September which is the 3rd quarter) which is faaaar greater than what I actually earned for the small job.

Since then I’ve gotten pretty hostile responses from Finanças. I always try to be polite (I am very very conscious as coming across as an entitled English speaker) and ask if there is anyone I can speak to in English because I have no real idea what is happening. I’m from Australia and it would be absurd for the taxation office not to provide language support for foreigners (I actually did a thesis in my masters on the access to language in the Government bodies) but I received a pretty funny email back which basically said “you are not writing this correctly so this will be filed as irrelevent”. Like, it’s kind of humorous but fuck man, I pay taxes here like everyone. I don’t even know how long I have to pay this fine, or how to go about requesting an “afastamento”. The portal of finanças is entirely in Portuguese (which I can more or less read well but I still struggle with the legal sections etc). I’ve booked an in person meeting with finanças but I’m beginning to think it might not even be worth my time to try and fight the fine.

So my final main question is….how does everyone here feel about Finanças? Is my situation worse because I’m a foreigner?

ALSO, if anyone has any advice if I should just give up and work out how to pay the fine instead of fighting it…that would be great

submitted by /u/KGeedora
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