What is a NIF used for in Portugal ?

You are an individual or self-employed person living in Portugal. You will need a tax identification number to declare your tax affairs. What do you need a NIF for in Portugal ? How to apply to get your own NIF number ?
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What are the uses of a NIF in Portugal ?

The NIF is a unique taxpayer number in Portugal. It allows the tax authorities to put nationals and non-residents in the national directory. It helps the tax authorities to verify the validity of the tax treaty and to identify a company. It facilitates the payment of VAT and the creation of companies for individuals residing in Portugal. It allows you to apply for a loan at the bank or to open a bank account. It facilitates the exchange of goods between several institutions and defines each fiscal resident.

It’s not a legal requirement to have a NIF if you live in Portugal, but you will absolutely need one if you plan to do things like :

  • Open a bank account
  • Rent an apartment
  • Subscribe to services (internet, health insurance…)
  • Open a company
  • Etc…

Why is NIF required in daily shopping in Portugal ?

Obtaining a taxpayer number reduces corporate tax costs. Indeed, the use of the NIF identifiers of a taxable company can cause a relief from customs. The taxpayer identification number helps government tax agencies to encourage taxpayers to claim the receipt of their transactions. It gives the State the possibility to access the particular space of legal entities within the clerk's office of the commercial court. It allows commercial agents to centralize the information of natural and legal persons benefiting from the exemption from registration.   

What is the NIF ?

The NIF is the VAT identification number. In Portugal, it is called "número de contribuinte". This personal number allows for the identification of individuals in the Tax system. It is a tax number that allows companies to reduce their taxes. Those subject to the social security number include companies that are a resident legal entity.

In addition, the NIF assigned to each individual is unique. It helps the public finances of Portugal, and it can help you obtain tax refunds at the end of the year, if you register it in your daily purchases. If you plan to stay in Portugal for more than a few months, you will need a NIF number.

How to get a NIF in Portugal ?

To obtain a NIF in Portugal online, you will need to get a fiscal representative, who must be a Portuguese resident, to do the request on your behalf. But how can I get one even though I don’t know anyone in Portugal ? 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.

Nowadays though, other methods exist, to help you request your NIF online. For example, 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.

Updated at 12-21-2022 by AnchorLess

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