A NIF number is an important and necessary number that you will need to complete any legal transactions in Portugal. Luckily, the process of getting a NIF number in Portugal is easy! Our guide will tell you all you need to know about a Portugal NIF number – what it is, how to get it, and why you need it.
What is a NIF number?
A NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) is an Individual Tax Identification Number that is used in Portugal. This unique nine-digit number is also known as the contribution number (Número de contribuinte) or personal tax number. As it is a taxpayer number, it is issued by the country’s tax authorities and, as mentioned, is unique for each person.
Who needs a Portuguese NIF number?
If you live in Portugal you must obtain a Portuguese NIF number. This is particularly important for anyone intending to run official and legal fiscal activities, such as opening a Portuguese bank account, purchasing property in Portugal, or for tax purposes. There are cases where a NIF number is not necessary, such as for students living in Portugal for a short period of time. However, in order to conduct any such activities in Portugal, you must have an Individual Taxation Number.
This means that Portuguese residents, non-residents, and Portuguese citizens must get a NIF number. While there is no criminal sanction against you if you do not obtain a taxpayer number, it is essential to conduct financial activities in a number of areas in Portugal. If you choose not to obtain this number, you will not be able to conduct activities in these areas. For example, you need your NIF number in order to get your Portuguese social security number.
Where can I use my Portuguese NIF number?
Areas where your NIF number is required:
The purchase and sale of a property
The purchase of a car
The application for a driving license
Inheriting Portuguese assets in a last will and testament
Opening a bank account
Receiving an income for business/work
Receiving social security payments
Getting loans (e.g., getting a mortgage, signing a mobile phone contract)
Paying taxes in Portugal
Attending a local university
Setting up telecommunications or utilities
Signing a mobile phone contract
Most other fiscal activities
How To Get a NIF Number in Portugal
It is free to obtain your NIF in Portugal. If you wish to get a Portuguese tax card, however, you will need to pay €6.80. The process of applying for the NIF in Portugal is different for citizens of the European Union (EU) and non-EU citizens. The section below will provide a guide on how to apply for your NIF number, depending on your nation and residency.
Portuguese residents can apply for the NIF number in the following ways:
As an individual, you can apply in person at your local Portuguese tax office (Finanças), or you can visit a citizen’s shop.
You can appoint a lawyer or an accountant to apply for the NIF in Portugal on your behalf.
Businesses can apply online at Finanças, but the website is in Portuguese only. If you are not proficient in Portuguese, it may be more practical to apply in person at the local tax office.
If you are not a Portuguese resident, it is possible to apply for your taxpayer number from outside of Portugal. In such cases, a non-resident can appoint a representative or lawyer as their proxy. This proxy can get a temporary taxpayer number for the individual, which will be replaced by a permanent NIF number after a few months, or following the individual becoming a permanent resident in Portugal.
Step By Step Guide
Fortunately, the steps required to obtain your NIF number are straightforward: collect the required documents, visit your nearest tax office (Finanças), and get your NIF number.
Step 1: Obtain the required documents
The following documents need to be obtained in order to get your taxpayer number:
A photo ID
Proof of residence
A photo ID
When you have appointed a proxy to obtain the number on your behalf, a scanned, signed copy of your photo identification is sufficient.
Citizens of the EU, European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland, can show their passport or citizen’s identity card.
For non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, it is necessary to show your passport. In cases where the passport or photo ID can’t be submitted, it is sometimes possible to present your birth certificate instead.
Proof of residence
Individuals living in Portugal, when applying for a NIF number, will need to provide a Portuguese address. This proof of residency can take the form of a rental agreement, utility bill, etc.
Citizens of the EU living elsewhere and who do not have a Portuguese address can obtain their proof of residence from someplace else in the EU.
Those applying for a NIF number from outside of the EU/EEA must assign power of attorney to a lawyer or representative so that they may act on the individual’s behalf. To do so, the individual must provide the lawyer/representative with a document signed by an attorney and translated into Portuguese. In this case, it will be sufficient to provide a bank statement no older than three months that states the individual’s non-Portuguese residential address.
Step 2: Visit your closest Finanças
You can go to your local tax office (Finanças), but it may be easier to find your nearest government office. Take your passport/ID card and proof of residence with you, and remember to confirm their opening and closing hours before arriving at their offices. As the Finanças offices can be quite busy, it is a good idea to arrive before the specified opening times.
Step 3: Get your NIF number
Once you have submitted your photo ID and proof of residence, you will qualify to receive your NIF number. This can usually take a few minutes and, once you have received your NIF number, it will not expire.
How is a Portuguese tax card different from a Portugal NIF number?
When you obtain your permanent NIF number, the Portuguese tax authority will issue you a Portuguese Tax Card. As mentioned above, the NIF cost is free. Your tax card, however, will cost you €6.80. The card is small, about the same size as a credit card, and includes the following information: your unique NIF number, the issue date, and the name of the issuing regional tax authority. You can also find your NIF number on documents related to legal activities, such as your citizen ID card. The number will also be used in any and all communication that occurs between you and the tax authorities of Portugal.
What is the role of the NIF number through the Portugal Golden Visa process?
As mentioned in the sections above, a NIF in Portugal is required for a number of areas and operations. It is also required for several transactions that need to be performed in order for you to obtain the Portuguese Golden Visa. Investors applying for the Portugal Golden Visa will need to apply for a NIF number. This residency by investment program also enables applicants who are non-EU/EEA nationals to apply for a NIF number.
A popular route to gain Portuguese citizenship is by investing in the Portuguese economy or in real estate, therefore making them eligible to obtain a Golden Visa. To learn more, head to our guide about how you can get Portuguese citizenship with the Golden Visa Program.
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Goldcrest is a buyer’s agent that is based in Lisbon. We provide expert impartial advice on real estate investments and how to buy property in Portugal. From scouting out the perfect property through to property acquisition, we have you covered.
If you are looking to purchase property in Portugal, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team of skilled experts is available to solve all your real estate doubts, offering insightful expertise and strategic advice. We are focused on securing the best deal for you.
As you can see, it is necessary to get a NIF in Portugal. Whether you are a Portuguese citizen or resident, a non-resident, a tax resident, or looking to conduct business in the country, getting your Portuguese taxpayer number is important. Fortunately, the process is simple, whether you are in Portugal or require a proxy to act on your behalf. All you need is your ID card/passport and proof of residence, and once you have your NIF number, it will never expire!
A NIF number (Número de Identificação Fiscal) is an Individual Tax Identification Number, also known as your contribution number (Número de contribuinte). It is nine digits and unique to each person. This personal tax number is used in Portugal to complete any official or legal transaction and is issued by the Portuguese tax authorities.
2. How do I get a NIF number in Portugal?
If you are a resident of Portugal or reside within the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA), you can apply for your NIF number at your nearest local tax or government office using your photo ID/passport and proof of residence. If you are a non-resident residing outside the EU/EEA, you will need to assign power of attorney to a proxy. They will act on your behalf and submit your documents in person.
3. Can I get a Portuguese NIF online?
Finanças does provide an online service for businesses wishing to apply for a NIF number online. An important note is that the website is in Portuguese only. Individuals will need to apply in person or through a proxy if they do not reside in Portugal. GetNIFportugal can help you with the process of obtaining a NIF number.