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Employment - Institute of National Social Security in Cape Verde - INPS

Social Security payments in Cape Verde - Instituto National de Previdência Social - INPS

Those that require a Residents Card are required to make contributions to Social Security in Cape Verde. The operating authority for this falls under the scheme of INPS.

The following is a Google translated extract of information taken from the INPS website on 12th February 2018. Please note that the information on the INPS website will be updated from time to time, so the following information may have changed after 12/02/2018.  The INPS website is in Portuguese. The INPS information page I refer to at this time is: DIRECT CONTRIBUTION

National SOCIAL Security Institute

Social security, through direction of contribution [...]

Obligations details
Created in 15-01-2009 updated in 09-01-2013 the payment of the contributions constitutes one of the main obligations of the taxpayers.
The employer/taxpayer and the employee/insured shall be subject to payment of a monthly contribution, set at 23% thus distributed:
15% for the taxpayer
8% for the insured.
The payment of the contributions shall take place until the 15th of the month immediately to the one to which they report.
The non-payment of contributions within the legal period implies:
The aggravation in interest of Mora;
The application of fines for each month of infringement.
The taxpayer shall, together with the contributions, refer the Payroll payroll (FOS).
The employer who for 4 (four) consecutive months sends to payrolls and salaries (FOS) without the corresponding contributions incurrs a situation of serious default.

NOTE:

Proof must be provided to the National Police that regular payments to INPS have been made when applying or re-applying for Residence Card. If you have paid the last 4 months of INPS you can be issued with a declaration document from the INPS office which states you are complying with regular monthly payments. You can then take the declaration with you to the National Police Station as proof of regular payment. If however, you can't provide that declaration to confirm regular payments, you will have to find out if there are other ways in which you can get INPS to provide an alternative worded document stating why you are not currently able to make regular payments, this can prove extremely difficult, especially if you can't explain clearly in Portuguese to INPS, the reasons for non-payments. You will need to find out what needs to be done if for example, you cease working mid-way though the year and retire, or, if you are a pensioner when you first apply for residency. Please also note, as stated above, you may also be subject to fines for monthly infringements unless you confirm your arrangements with INPS.

One expat paying INPS payments under the self-employed scheme, was provided with the following information by someone at the INPS office in 2015. Firstly copied in Portuguese, secondly translated to English on Google.  There are other factors, rules and regulations which you will also need to consider. We are not in a positon to provide further information on Social Security, you would need to make your own enquiries through INPS:

PORTUGUESE:

'A lei prevê que, se um contribuinte por conta própria, como no seu caso, estiver com dificuldades financeiras, para pagar as contribuições, pode solicitar a suspensão da sua inscrição. Durante o período de suspensão o contribuinte não possui nenhuma obrigação para com o INPS, mas também não possui nenhum benefício'.

ENGLISH:

'The law provides that if a self-employed taxpayer, as in your case, is in financial difficulty to pay the contributions, you may request the suspension of your registration. During the suspension period the taxpayer has no obligation to the INPS, but also has no benefits'.

NOTE: If you can't or haven't paid 4 months of social security payments, before applying for a Residence Card for the first time, you may want to enquire if there is something INPS can provide in writing to say you were in the process, but don't count on that, but who knows as some expats have been treated differently!

If it is a re-application for Residence renewal and you had previously written to INPS or called in the office to request a 'Suspensão' (Suspension) of your social payments due to no work or, reduced work commitments, but had not declared work since that time and requested to 'Re-activacão' (Re-Activate) your account with INPS and made further payments, if this happened during the 4 months before your application for Residence renewal, then you could be faced with some difficulties with trying to obtain the necessary document from INPS.

May I remind readers that the information above from and about INPS is based the INPS websiten. The information provided by other expats is based on their experiences and should be in no way, be taken as official. We will not be checking for updated information on INPS website or other external information sources. The links we provide should be used by readers to follow up and obtain up-to-date and accurate information themselves. There will also be other relevant information on the INPS website for self-employed, employers and employees.

The information regarding other earnings/payments and social security can be found on the INPS website which you can Google translate to English or other languages. LINK: INPS-CAPE-VERDE

Questions asked by expats and answers provided by INPS

Please note again, these have been translated using Google translate and were relevant as of 20th February 2018.

QUESTIONS

I have visited the INPS website but I am having difficulty finding information relating to 'self-employed' persons paying INPS and wondered if you had the correct link, or where I could find the information in English.

I am looking for information on how much individuals who are self-employed, need to pay INPS each month and how this is calculated?

I also want to ask, what is the minimum an individual self-employed person can declare to INPS as earning each month?

If there is no 'middle ground' for someone that works part-time to make smaller smaller contributions, are there any alternatives?

There is also the recent announcement from the Government that Foreign Investors will have the right to apply for Residence Cards if they invest in property in Cabo Verde, priced over 120,000 Euros. Will these new investors also need to pay INPS as part of their Residence Card issue?

REPLY:

According to Decree-Law No. 48/2009 of 23 November, self-employed persons shall choose one of the following steps to which a salary is to be declared and the respective contributions are payable:

Scale 

Salary

(Escudos) 

 Monthly

Contributions

(Escudos)

1 15.000,00 2.925,00
2 30.000,00 5.850,00
3 45.000,00 8.775,00
4 60.000,00 11.700,00
.... .... ....

As you can see, the lowest contribution value that an independent worker (self employed person) can pay is 2.925.00 escudos a month (two thousand, nine hundred and twenty five escudos). There is no middle ground for part-time self employed workers.

In article 23 (f) of the Decree-Law referred to above, it also appears that if the independent worker has no income allowing him to commit to the payment of the monthly contributions, he/she may request the exemption from contributing to the system (following the registration), but it is also without the protection. For you to have the right to a statement (Declaration) informing you that you have your rights, in force, as an independent worker, you must have paid at least four months of consecutive contributions.

Registration with the INPS is mandatory for all nationals and foreigners who work in Cape Verde, with one exception or another. If you have a professional activity in Cape Verde and have registered with us to pay INPS, and this has been accepted; The wage (salary) declaration is chosen by the Insured (individual registering for INPS), in a scale corresponding to Scale 1, 2.3 or 4 according to their activity. If you chose scale 2, that corresponds to 30,000.00ecv, therefor monthly contributions will be the amount of 5,850.00ecv; If you chose the salary of the 1st scale, the monthly contributions payable would be 2,925.00 ecv. However, the law (Decree-Law 48/2009, article 23 f) allows self-employed workers to suspend their enrolment, in a situation of lack of income. Whenever you are in a situation of lack of income, you can request the suspension of your enrolment; During the period of suspension, the duties cease from one part to another. The Taxpayers registration on the INPS system, is either ACTIVE or SUSPENDED, there is no middle ground. During the period of suspension, the INPS does not issue any statement (declaration) stating that you are enrolled as a taxpayer or that you are complying with your duties towards the Tax System, which is the statement (declaration) that is issued to tax payers if or when they are renewing the residence permit; If you need a declaration from the INPS, you must pay at least four months of contributions in order for your tax situation to be regularized at the time the declaration is issued. If you wish to change your salary declaration to the lower scale (e.g.15,000.00 ecv), you must file an application in person with the INPS in September and October for the change to take effect the January of the following year.

As for the possibility of registration in the system of foreign investors and shareholders, we inform that the law covers only persons who have a professional activity in Cape Verde. In accordance with article 3 of Law No. 131/V/2001 of 22 January, perhaps in the near future we have an optional law which, in the logic of the insurance, accepts the registration of all those who wish to enrol in the system, whether or not they exercise an activity Professional.

Expats have made individual comments as follows:

Self - Employed

COMMENT - 'I paid for a translation of my P60 which I'd had notorised in Cape Verde, this was not accepted initially as proof of financial income to sustain living and working in Cape Verde. On a later visit to the Police Station, with different person on duty, my translated and notorised P60 was accepted.'

COMMENT - 'After being told by INPS in emails and office visits in person, that I needed to have paid at least 4 months of INPS payments before they would issue me with a declaration which says I have paid those 4 months, I was becoming resigned to the fact that it was unlikely I would have my papers accepted for renewal of Residence Card without the INPS declaration. On one visit to the Police Station I was told to go and get my declaration from INPS and bring it back, while the Police kept the other original documents. I left thinking oh flip, what can I do now.

I couldn't face going back to INPS that day, so I left it till the following week. On the next visit to INPS I tried explaining about working part-time, showed the copies of emails from INPS in which I was told I could suspend my account, no-one told me I had to go back to INPS and fill in a form to suspend my payments, even when I'd visited the offices in person at least 4 times. This time rightly or wrongly I was told I could fill out a form, (I didn't know why at the time) but it was to say I had suspended my payments and to close the previous account (as at 31st December 2017). I was then asked to fill out another form to-re-activate my registration (as of 1st January 2018) but with this I got a new registration number and was able to pay the first months INPS payment for January 2018. It was now the second week in February when I returned to the Police Station again. This time I spoke to a different Police officer, who couldn't locate my originals, so was told to come back the following week and they would have my original documents to hand, but they also wanted to keep my copies as reference, it was at this time my P60 was accepted! (see previous comment).

I returned to the Police Station the following week to see if they had located my original docs and I spoke to the same Police officer that I'd spoken to the previous week. My original docs had been found and, as we both checked through the papers, the Police Officer took the INPS suspension and re-activation forms out of the pile and put them with my originals, at this point I was scared to breathe. I was asked about the work situation and replied that I worked part-time and not every month. Up until that time I'd been expecting that my original docs and copies would be handed back to me and to be told I couldn't have my Residence renewed. However, I was then asked how I wanted to pay, I had to double check with the Police officer that they wanted me to pay, which they did, I confirmed I'd pay using my Vint4 card (CV Bank Card), as there was no way I was going to leave that station without paying immediately to go to the bank and queue to pay and come back with the receipt to the Police Station. I then had my finger print taken and was told to return the following week for my residence card. I honestly couldn't believe it. One week later at the Police Station, same Police Officer on duty.  There were 15 people in the waiting room before I arrived. I waited an hour and only 2 people had been processed, a third was being dealt with when the system went down. So, only non-computerised administration work could be processed at the time by Police.  A few minutes later I was called over to the desk, my documents and card in front of me, I could see my card had already been stamped, then it was stamped again by the Officer. I then had to sign a document. The Police kept all my original papers, then I was handed my Residence Card with another 2yrs residence visa on it.

One very relieved person left the station that morning!

COMMENT - I was asked to provide a 4th passport size photo.

Employed Worker

COMMENT - Employed Residency (Renewal): If you are renewing your residency as an employee of a business in Cabo Verde, one of the requirements (not mentioned on the list of documents necessary) is a 'Declaration of Employment' from your employer in order to verify the copy of your work contract. (Note: it is not enough to have your employer sign and stamp the copy of your work contract.)

The declaration of work, typed in Portuguese on company letterhead, signed by your employer, and stamped with their company stamp must then be taken (along with 3 copies of your work contract, plus a copy of your employer's commercial licence, a copy of your passport and a copy of your residency card) to the Centro do Trabahlo in Espargos (across the road from the police station above the clothes shop). There is no charge for the copy of the work contract to be stamped, but you will have to wait one week to collect it.

Business Owner

COMMENT -'I was never asked to produce information for my INPS payments when I submitted my documents in January to the National Police station, but all my other documents were submitted and accepted without INPS documetation, and I run a business here'

Retired Person

COMMENT - 'I've ended up in tears with sheer frustration at being told to get other documents for my Residence Card renewal, and I'm not even working here, I'm retired'.

 

There are other expats who will have more stories about the process, lack of information provided or required and more, too many to include here'.

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