What is a NIF number?
A NIF number, or fiscal number, is a Portuguese tax number and is obligatory for Portuguese residents aged 18 years or older. It is used to track your tax contributions every year to ensure you are paying the correct amount of tax and it's necessary if you wish to purchase property in Portugal, open a bank account or contract utility services.You only need an NIF number after you have arrived in Portugal.
For those opening a bank account prior to arrival in Portugal, a temporary NIF will be given that is used solely for bank account purposes and a permanent number will be given once you have arrived in Portugal.
How to apply for a Portuguese NIF number
To apply for your NIF number in person, you can visit one of these government offices:
- A local tax office of the Portuguese tax authority (Finanças)
- A local branch of a Citizen Shop
- A counter that provides Citizen Cards (ID card)
The need for a tax representative
All persons holding Portuguese residency, but who are not actively living in Portugal, are required by Portuguese law to appoint a tax representative (individual or company) with an address in Portugal.
The tax representative has several obligations to fulfil on your behalf with the tax department:
- Receive and process all correspondence directed to the taxpayer from the tax department
- Ensure that all necessary tax returns are filed by the taxpayer and within the legal deadlines
- Keep all relevant documents pertaining to the taxpayer and provide all necessary information to the tax authorities upon request
When you move to Portugal and become a tax resident, you will no longer require a tax representative. Annual tax representation fees range from €300 – €500.
Document requirements for your NIF number
- A valid passport (for non-EU nationals) or
- A valid photo ID card (for EU nationals)
- Proof of address – a physical address or PO Box address will suffice
Proof of address should not be older than three months and should be in the form of a utility bill, municipality bill, bank statement or an official document issued by a local or national governing body