An Explanatory Guide to Get a NIF Number in Portugal

Portugal NIF number is required for anyone who conducts any official or legal activities in Portugal. NIF stands for Numero de Indentificacao Fiscal in Portuguese. It does not matter whether the active parties have Portugal residency or not, they still need an NIF number. To have an NIF number, an application has to be made through tax authorities. Procedures of applications may vary depending on the applicant’s nation. Non-EU countries have a slightly different process, for instance.

What is NIF?

The Portuguese NIF number is a tax identification number. It is used for many activities regarding Portuguese taxation system or real estate. It is used when paying taxes, making official purchases and going through other legal or official activities. The Portuguese NIF number is issued by the Portuguese Tax Authority. It is best to have an NIF number as soon as possible even if there is no permanent residency required. Even for a short-term residency, it is a must to get it sorted out quickly.

The Portuguese NIF number is a 9 digit number issued specifically for each person. It is found on any written document with the Portuguese Tax Authority. It is also found on tax cards and Portuguese citizen ID cards.

How is It Obtained?

There are several ways of obtaining the Portuguese NIF number. These different options where it is possible to get the NIF number are listed below:

  • The local tax office of the Portuguese tax authority
  • At a local branch of a Citizen Shop
  • At a counter that provides the Citizen Card

If the person wanting to apply for an NIF number is not a resident, it is possible to get a temporary NIF number from a Portuguese lawyer. For instance, to be able to purchase real estate in Portugal, one needs an NIF number. If obtaining the number through a Portuguese lawyer is not an option, it can be obtained also via a fiscal representative who agrees to act on the applicant’s behalf.

Investors who apply for Portugal Golden Visa can also apply for an NIF number at the same time. Portugal’s residency by investment program allows its non-EU/EEA national applicants to apply for an NIF number, too. These investors who make significant investments in Portuguese economy do need to get this number eventually. Since their activity will involve correspondence with tax authorities, the applicants will need to have an NIF number issued at some point.

Businesses can apply for an NIF number in Portugal online, but this option is not currently available for individuals.

Requirements for Obtaining the NIF Number

The document requirements for a Portuguese NIF number are fairly minimal. Photo ID is the first requirement. It can also be a scanned and signed copy if the application is through a lawyer or a representative. For non-EU/EEA citizens, photo ID has to be a passport. EU/EEA/Swiss citizens can apply via their civil ID cards. In some circumstances where the applicant can neither submit a passport nor an official photo ID, their birth certificates can be used.

Applicants from Portugal need to present a proof of address such as a utility bill. Whereas people applying for an NIF number from abroad through a lawyer or a fiscal representative need to present a Power of Attorney document which is a document that officially states that a lawyer or a representative has the right to act on the applicant’s behalf.

There is no fee attached to obtaining an NIF number in Portugal, although there is a charge of EUR 6.80 for the issuing of a Portuguese tax card.

Why the NIF Number is Needed?

        Portuguese NIF number is needed to be able to carry out various transactions in Portugal such as:

  • buying and selling property in Portugal
  • inheriting Portuguese assets in a last will and testament
  • opening a bank account in Portugal
  • obtaining any kind of credit in Portugal, including getting a mortgage or taking out a mobile phone contract
  • paying taxes in Portugal. See our guide to tax in Portugal for more information
  • receiving an income for work or business in Portugal
  • studying in Portugal
  • receiving social security payments in Portugal
  • setting up utilities or telecommunications in Portugal
  • buying a car or applying for a driving license in Portugal

What is the Role of NIF Number through Portugal Golden Visa Process?

NIF number is needed for several operations in Portugal as listed above. To be able to do the transactions that Portuguese Golden Visa requires, NIF number is required. Investors who apply for Portugal Golden Visa can also apply for an NIF number at the same time. Portugal’s residency by investment program allows its non-EU/EEA national applicants to apply for an NIF number, too.

So, getting a NIF number from Portugal is required for Portugal Golden Visa. It is required to be able to open a bank account. It is required to be able to buy and sell property. Therefore, to be able to have any financial flexibility in Portugal, NIF number is needed.