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The Portuguese Taxpayer Number (NIF) and What It Is Used For
Updated: August 18, 2023 | Natalia
The NIF, or Tax Payer Identification Number, Portugal, is required for taxpayers to identify themselves in the country. This is a nine-digit number specific to each individual or business. You will be required to apply for your own personal NIF number at the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority (“Finanças”).
Regardless of citizenship or place of residence in Portugal, anyone can apply for a NIF number.
The Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF) is the unique taxpayer number that is permanently associated with the person. You can obtain the number separately or get it automatically assigned with the Portuguese citizen card.
In Portugal, a special NIF for companies is used to identify a corporation in financial transactions and tax payments – NIPC (Número de Identificação de Pessoa Colectiva).
Why do I need a NIF in Portugal?
It is recommended to apply for a NIF as soon as possible if you are considering investing in Portugal or living in the country, even for a short time, as it will be necessary to complete financial transactions, including:
- Opening a bank account
- Paying annual income taxes
- Purchasing or renting a property
- Setting up the Internet, telephone, or television services
- Purchasing a car
- Signing a work contract
In Portugal, a NIF number is required for almost anything. Portugal requires you to present your NIF number, unlike other nations where you may use a Social Security, ID, or passport number for these purposes.
Benefits of a NIF Number in Portugal
Ownership of a Tax Payer Identification Number, Portugal, may also entitle you to tax breaks or lower yearly tax obligations to the Portuguese Tax Authority.
You instantly qualify for tax deductions in specific IRS (personal income tax) categories, available for these types of payments when you visit a cafe or ask the pharmacist to issue an invoice, along with your NIF when you buy medicine.
How do I request a NIF number in Portugal?
You can request a NIF number at any tax office in Portugal (Serviço de Finanças), Loja de Cidado, or a facility where the Portuguese Carto de Cidado (Citizen’s Card) is issued.
Non-residents in Portugal need three documents to request their NIF:
- A passport or identification number
- Document confirming the fiscal representative’s authorization to carry out this function
- Proof of address in the country of origin (such as a utility, water, or internet bill)
You have two options for visiting the local tax office, known as “Finanças“: in person or by going to a citizen’s shop. Businesses have the convenience of applying online through the “Finanças” website. Keep in mind that the website is exclusively in Portuguese. If you prefer, you can designate a lawyer or an accountant to submit the application on your behalf.
How to have a TIN number in Portugal?
The Tax Identification Number (TIN) is granted to individuals with Portuguese citizenship when they apply for a Citizen’s Card. However, for other European Union citizens and individuals from third countries, obtaining a TIN requires submitting the necessary documents. This can be done by booking a face-to-face appointment at the Tax Office.
Why do I need a fiscal representative to request a NIF number?
A fiscal representative is a link in Portugal between a non-resident or business and the Portuguese Tax Authority. Selecting a tax representative to request a NIF if you are a non-resident of Portugal is constitutionally required.
NIF numbers can be requested online. The system will only accept requests made by a fiscal representative. Note that even though EU citizens are not required to appoint a tax representative, NIF Portugal applications can only be processed remotely in this manner.
The fiscal representative needs to have the following documents available before requesting a NIF number for a foreign national:
- A fiscal representative’s personal NIF
- A fiscal representative’s Citizen Card or Permanent Residence Card
- Confirmation of their address in Portugal (fiscal representatives must have permanent residency in Portugal, even if they are not Portuguese)
The address linked to the NIF at this point is the address of your fiscal representative. Your fiscal representative will now be in charge of handling all of your tax obligations in Portugal:
- Receiving your taxes and fees
- Receiving letters relating to your Portuguese taxes and keeping you updated so you can meet tax deadlines
- Making sure that you pay all of your taxes and potential fines
- Submitting tax-related claims, requesting tax appeals, and filing tax disputes on your behalf, when required
If you decide to move to Portugal in the future, you can ask the Portuguese Tax Authority to remove the fiscal representation associated with your name and NIF after a few months. A home rental agreement with your Portuguese address or a document (Atestado de Residência), which you can obtain from your local Junta de Freguesia, would serve as proof of residency.
A professional accountant will assist you in ensuring you are up to speed with the processes, including avoiding any fines or unforeseen tax charges that may emerge from being inexperienced with the Portuguese tax system. However, anyone with residency in Portugal can be appointed a fiscal representative. In light of this, we highly advise choosing a reputable accounting firm or a licensed Portuguese accountant with expertise working with foreigners.
Please get in touch with us if you want to learn more about applying for a NIF number or are looking for fiscal representation in Portugal. By choosing GetNIFportugal, you can order your NIF online and get a simple, quick, and hassle-free service for a fair price.
Frequently asked questions
What is the tax number in Portugal?
Your NIF or Número de Identificação Fiscal (sometimes referred to as the Número de Contribuinte) is your tax identification number in Portugal. A NIF is a nine-digit number that is unique for each person. The Portuguese tax authorities are responsible for issuing your NIF number.
You will need your NIF to make any financial transactions in the country, including opening a Portuguese bank account, getting a phone subscription, securing a rental property agreement, and getting health insurance.
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