To live in Portugal, you’ll need a NIF number to do just about anything. Discover what this is and what you’ll need it for in this handy guide to NIF Portugal.
Whether you’re a resident or non-resident in Portugal, you’ll need a tax number or Numero de Indentificacao Fiscal (NIF) if you’re carrying out any official or legal activities in Portugal. You’ll need to apply for a Portuguese NIF number through the tax authorities. The process is slightly different for nationals from non-EU countries.
This guide will look at the essential information concerning NIF Portugal.
What is a Portuguese NIF number?
The Portuguese NIF number is a tax identification number. The number is for tax purposes in Portugal; NIF numbers are necessary when paying taxes, making official purchases such as buying a property or carrying out other formal activities. The NIF number is issued by the Portuguese Tax Authority; prospective expats and entrepreneurs should sort it out as soon as possible if you’re planning on staying in Portugal, even if only for a short-term residency.
The NIF number in Portugal is a nine-digit number unique to each individual. This number is on all correspondence between yourself and the Portuguese tax authority. You’ll also find it on tax cards and the citizen’s ID card.
Who needs a NIF number?
Anyone legally living in Portugal, both official residents and citizens as well as foreign non-residents, needs to have a NIF number in Portugal. It’s not a legal requirement to obtain one and you won’t get into trouble just for not having one. However, there are plenty of things that you won’t be able to do without one; these include buying property, opening a bank account, getting credit, signing a mobile phone contract, as well as taking up employment.
If you are a non-resident or a temporary resident, you may receive a temporary NIF number, which is eventually replaced by a permanent one after a few months or when you become a permanent resident. See our guide to Portuguese citizenship and permanent residency for more information on who qualifies as a Portuguese citizen or permanent resident.
How to apply for a NIF number
You can apply for a NIF number in Portugal at a variety of places across Portugal. The following are all places where you can apply for a Portuguese NIF number:
- local tax office of the Portuguese tax authority
- at a local branch of a Citizen Shop
- at a counter that provides the Citizen Card
Applying for a NIF number is also possible without being physically present if you aren’t already living in Portugal. If you’re a non-resident and want to apply from outside of Portugal, you can also get a temporary NIF number via a Portuguese lawyer or a fiscal representative who agrees to act on your behalf.
If you are a non-EU/EEA national applying for Portuguese residency by making a significant investment in the Portuguese economy through the golden visa program, you can apply for a Portuguese NIF number at the same time. See our guide to the Portuguese golden visa for more information.
Businesses can apply for a NIF number in Portugal online. However, individuals currently cannot apply online.
Requirements for a Portuguese NIF number
The document requirements for a Portuguese NIF number are fairly small. You’ll just need to present a valid piece of photo ID (or a scanned, signed copy if applying through a lawyer or representative). For nationals from outside the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, this must be a passport. For EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, a national ID card from your country is sufficient. In some circumstances, those unable to present a passport or official photo ID can use their birth certificate instead.
If you’re applying for a Portuguese NIF number in Portugal, you’ll need proof of your address (e.g., utility bill). However, if you’re applying from abroad through a representative, you’ll need to provide a Power of Attorney document (translated into Portuguese); this grants them permission to act on your behalf.
There is no fee for getting a NIF number in Portugal. However, there is a fee of €6.80 for the Portuguese tax card.
Using your Portuguese NIF number
Your NIF number is necessary for a variety of different transactions in Portugal, such as:
- buying and selling property
- inheriting Portuguese assets in a last will and testament
- opening a bank account
- obtaining any kind of credit (e.g., getting a mortgage, signing a mobile phone contract)
- paying taxes in Portugal
- receiving an income for work or business
- attending a local university
- receiving social security payments
- setting up utilities or telecommunications
- buying a car or applying for a driving license
Portuguese tax card
The Portuguese tax authority issues you a tax card when you receive your permanent NIF number. The card is a credit card-sized document that contains your unique NIF number, the date of issue, and the name of the issuing regional tax authority. A Portuguese tax card costs €6.80.