NIF Portugal

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What is and how to get your NIF Portugal

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Brenda L.

05 jan 2024 • 5 min read

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As you begin to plan your life in Portugal, you may notice an acronym that shows pretty often: NIF.

NIF, or 'Número de Identificação Fiscal', is the primary document you'll need to start your life in Portugal or manage your assets.

In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about NIF in Portugal and how to have it ready for your new life here 👍.

What is a Portuguese NIF?

NIF, 'Número de Identificação Fiscal', 'Número de Contribuinte', or just 'Contribuinte', is the main ID for any resident in Portugal or those seeking to manage assets in the country. It consists of a 9-digit number.

Logo of the autoridade who deliver NIF in Portugal

Logo of the Autoridade in Portugal

It's a tax identification number granted by Portuguese tax authorities (aka 'Finanças'), that allows anyone to domicile their taxes in Portugal, and you don't need to be a resident to request one. The NIF is by far the most requested ID for any service in Portugal.

Each person and each company are assigned a NIF, which will last indefinitely.

Why do I need a Portuguese NIF?

If you want to live in Portugal or plan to have financial assets here, the NIF will be your main need. ✅

The Portuguese NIF is essential to hire services, rent or purchase properties, and do financial transactions, among many other needs.

Will the NIF change my status as tax resident in Portugal?

Not necessarily!

Your NIF is your first step to becoming a tax resident in Portugal. It is essential to it. However, to become a tax resident, you'll need to register with a Portuguese address, and for that, you'll need a proof of address in Portugal.

Where will I use a Portuguese NIF?

Besides being a governmental ID, the following circumstances will call for the use of the Portuguese NIF:

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Information:

As a resident, having a NIF and providing it in many purchasing situations can be extremely helpful. Though not mandatory, providing a NIF when making a purchase allows you to easily retrieve an invoice if needed, like when changing an item or using a warranty. It may also decrease or assure a tax return at the end of the fiscal year.

NIF Portuguese card

And those are the main reasons why you'll see some Portuguese citizens handing clerks this card.

How can I get a Portuguese NIF?

To get a Portuguese NIF, you have two options:

We recommend you evaluate each option and choose wisely according to your priorities (faster or cheaper; it's your choice). 😊

Don't waste time and money for your relocation to Portugal 🇵🇹

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What documents do I need to get a Portuguese NIF?

-> As an EU/EEA/Swiss national

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-> As an non-EU/EEA/Swiss national

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What is a Tax Representative for a NIF?

When you are not a legal resident in Portugal, the country needs a point of contact with you in the country to manage your tax responsibilities.

A tax representative is your point of contact with Portugal's fiscal authorities. It's through his contact information, mainly his address, that authorities will be in touch with you. 🫡

When can I dismiss my tax representative in Portugal?

When you legally move to Portugal, you must establish a Portuguese address and, in the case of a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national, apply for a residence permit, or 'Manifestação de Interesse'.

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen you can do it at any given time. 😎

How can I dismiss my tax representative in Portugal?

When you request the change of address for a Portuguese one (EU one, if you are an EU national) at e-balcão, on the 'Finanças' portal, or at your local 'Finanças' office, you can also request the removal of your tax representative in the same requisition.

Can I get the Portuguese NIF for free at Financas?

At the tax office in Portugal, you can obtain your NIF Portugal for free 😊. Your citizenship will determine the process.

Portugal refers to its tax offices as 'Finanças' and offers both in-person and online services.

-> Portuguese NIF for an EU/EUE/Swiss Citizen at Finanças

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-> Portuguese NIF for a non EU/EUE/Swiss Citizen at Finanças

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Information: Find your nearest tax office 'Finanças' office here!

However, please be aware that, as with any other government office, there can be very long lines, and some areas request that you make an appointment before heading there.

Financas queue to get your portuguese NIF

You definitely don't want to be here; trust me, I know.


“I've been in your shoes trying to get a Portuguese NIF directly from a 'Finanças' office! When I arrived in Lisbon, a hired lawyer was taking too long to return a NIF number. As a French national, I decided to head straight to my local "Finanças." After waiting a couple of hours, the clerk informed me that I couldn't complete my NIF at that moment. This was not the ideal start for my life here! That's why we created AnchorLess.”

Max
Expat since 2 years

Can I get the Portuguese NIF for free online?

If you are outside Portugal and wish to request your NIF, you can do it online, but you'll need a tax representative, who must be a trusted Portuguese legal tax resident, with credentials to access 'Finanças' Portal. His credentials should be a 'Finanças' Password.

☝️If you choose this option, you must sign a Power of Attorney authorising your trusted Portuguese legal tax resident to request the NIF on your behalf. This document must be notarized. So, before proceeding, you must consider this fee in your home country. 💸

-> See the instructions

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Getting your NIF with AnchorLess

AnchorLess offers a simple, fast, reliable, and safe way to request your NIF in Portugal. 👋

Our automated method simplifies your application into 3 simple steps, while also protecting your data.

AnchorLess does your NIF

Starting at 99€, you only need to provide an ID, proof of address, and sign a 'Power of Attorney' specifically for your NIF issuance.

You can do it from anywhere, with any device, and in less than 24 hours, you'll receive your NIF in your email automatically.

Simple, fast, and completely stress-free. AnchorLess also provides a tax representative that will serve as your fiscal point of contact in Portugal while you don't make your move.

Get help with your NIF application with AnchorLess

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Do I need a lawyer to get a Portuguese NIF?

Officially, you don't need a lawyer 🎉.

However, as requesting a Portuguese NIF remotely may look a bit challenging for some, several practices are offering this service at a high price 🥵 (you can find it for 200 to 300 euros). Usually, there are hidden fees attached 😞 (if you need any other requests or additional information).

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Attention:

Be vigilant when looking for a NIF provider online. There are several scams available that will sell fake NIFs for a lower price or request higher amounts to finish the transaction. Make sure your choice is reliable and approved by other users.

What does a Portuguese NIF look like?

Believe it or not, your NIF will be a simple, plain, white piece of paper 📃. No matter how you decide to request your NIF, it will always be the same. There is no official seal, stamp or print.

Usually, you won't need this paper document, except when opening a bank account. Everywhere else, you'll just need to dictate or type your NIF.

Where can I find my Portuguese NIF?

You'll find it at the top left of your NIF document. 🧐

It will be in the first "box," right before your name. In the image below, you can see everything:


Example of a detailed Portuguese NIF

Example of a detailed Portuguese NIF

What about that NIF card in the beginning?

It is also a plain white piece of paper with the image of a card 💳. You would need to cut it and improvise a protection for it to use on a day-to-day basis.

It's not mandatory, and it's a tool for those who don't easily remember their NIF.

Where can I get one?

Unfortunately, it is not available anymore. 😔

Years ago, this option was available, but it is no longer valid.

Is there any alternative?

Yes, there is! 😊

After you receive your NIF and password, you can download the app 'E-Fatura'. On the home page, you'll see a QR code with your NIF. And you can easily use it at any shopping counter.

Efatura application

Efatura application

What is the 'Finanças' Password?

The 'Finanças' password is, as the name suggests, a password that allows you to log in to the government tax office portal to manage your tax obligations.

You will make a request to become a tax resident in Portugal and submit your IRS information there.

How can I get my 'Finanças' Password?

Access to your 'Finanças' password is one of the primary reasons why you either need a trusted fiscal representative or a company handling your NIF.

When you first attempt to log into the 'Finanças' portal using your NIF, you must request the password and input the address of your fiscal representative (if you have one).

Your fiscal representative will receive an official government letter containing your password.

☝️ That's why it needs to be a trusted person! Access to this mail order is essential to ensuring the safe management of your NIF.


Exemple of the letter that you will received with your Financas password

Exemple of the letter that you will received with your Financas password

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Why is AnchorLess your trusted partner for your Portuguese NIF? 👋

When you request your NIF here at AnchorLess, we automatically ask for your password, without extra fees.

We'll send it to you automatically, once again protecting your data.

For this reason, we advise EU nationals to opt for a fiscal representative when purchasing their NIF from us, even though it's not technically required. This way, your password will arrive safely in your inbox instead of being at risk of loss in the mail system.

How long does it take for my 'Finanças' Password to arrive?

Due to delays in the mail network, it may take 2 weeks for your password letter to arrive.

If you are an EU citizen and your NIF address is outside Portugal, it will take longer.

What should I do in 'Finanças'?

You can manage your personal details, your income and invoices to ensure that you'll have a larger tax deduction or return. 💰

The Portuguese tax system offers a category-based invoice classification, where you can separate receipts according to their service and increase your final deduction or return.

You can use the 'Finanças' portal or the 'E-fatura' app to do it.

What should I do after receiving my NIF and 'Finanças' password?

Basically become a Portuguese tax resident: change your NIF password and fiscal address.

However, be aware that switching your NIF address to a Portuguese address will inform authorities that you are a tax resident in Portugal, thereby requiring you to pay taxes there as well.

To do the first is simple, but for the latter, you must be living in Portugal with a lease, a residence permit, or 'Manifestação de Interesse' in place.

We hope this short guide will help you to have your Portuguese NIF quicker and without any complication. AnchorLess is here to assist you at every step of your move to Portugal 👋!

Final words

We hope this short guide will help you to have your Portuguese NIF quicker and without any complication. AnchorLess is here to assist you at every step of your move to Portugal 👋!


Frequently asked questions about NIF

Can children have a NIF Portugal as well?

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How to change the NIF address Portugal?

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How to check if your NIF Portugal number is valid?

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Is NIF the same as Fiscal Number in Portugal?

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Can I get my NIF Portugal online?

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AnchorLess is not a bank, accounting, tax, investment, or legal advisor. We serve as an intermediary, streamlining your access to accredited financial and legal professionals for your relocation to Portugal.

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