If you’re moving to Portugal or if you already live there, you will need a NIF – Número de Identificação Fiscal.
Surely you’ve already heard of it, and if you didn’t, you will soon enough. This is the identification number needed to carry out any official or legal activity in the country, whether you are a resident or non-resident in Portugal and in this article, we’ll guide you through all the necessary information about it.
What’s a NIF?
NIF stands for Número de Identificação Fiscal, and is the Portuguese taxpayer ID, and is needed for every procedure you need to do in Portugal, from opening a bank account to signing up for insurance policies, or renting an apartment. Even in small day to day commercial transactions such as grocery shopping, you’ll be asked whether you want your NIF to be added to the receipt (to deduct your expense – if eligible – from your IRS declaration).
Do I really need a NIF?
If you are a non-resident in Portugal, it is not necessary to have a NIF number. However, it is highly advisable to do so if you plan to stay for a few months or so. For example, if you are a non-resident and want to rent an apartment, buy property in Portugal or apply for a job, then you will need a NIF number.
If you’re European, you only need an ID from your country and a proof of address.
Can I get a NIF as a non-European?
Yes, you can get one through a fiscal representative, who will have to do the request on your behalf.
How to get a NIF in Portugal online even though I don’t know anyone who could be my fiscal representative?
Usually, what you can do is hire a law firm that will request your NIF for you and act as your fiscal representative. The only problem with that is that most of the time it’s really expensive, and will take a longer time than alternative methods.
How to get a NIF in Portugal online?
Nowadays, you can make your request to get a NIF in Portugal online through companies, who will act as your representative until you arrive and change it. For a one-time fee of 119 euros, they will take care of all the paperwork and will send you your NIF number by email.
When requesting it from a company online, it usually takes less than a week to get one.