3 ways to apply for a NIF in Portugal

The NIF is an identification number assigned to taxpayers by Portuguese tax authorities. In English, the NIF assigned to individuals is known as the "fiscal number". In Portugal, the tax administration assigns the NIF to any individual to register their earnings and expenses for yearly tax declarations. With this unique identification number, the Portuguese institution can identify each taxpayer and his or her tax obligations. As foreigners, how to obtain a Tax Identification Number in Portugal ?
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Obtaining a NIF in Portugal through a lawyer 

Today, there are lawyers who assist individuals who wish to obtain a tax identification number. Being legal professionals, they gather all the supporting documents while carrying out the formalities to obtain your number. Such a practice of obtaining a tax identification number is particularly relevant for individuals who do not reside in an EU member state. This is possible because Non-EU residents need a tax representative to get a tax identification number

In fact, the lawyer or the company must act as such since these professionals have the legal status to do so. Regardless of the administrative steps to be taken, legal specialists are able to obtain the registration number for you by asking only for a few official documents such as the identity card of your country of origin, passport, etc. That said, it’s also the priciest way of getting a NIF in Portugal, as a lawyer will have very high prices, often going over 1000 euros.

With a lawyer, people wanting a NIF number have every chance of having their NIF number assigned by the Portuguese tax authorities. With a good legal status, this legal professional will do all the steps and formalities of the companies to have the tax ID in the shortest time possible. Therefore, self-employed persons wishing to carry out a professional activity in Portugal should not embark on the procedures for obtaining the tax identification number on their own.

Obtaining a NIF by visiting the Finança or the Loja do Cidadao

When it comes to people with the legal status of European Union citizens, the administrative steps to get a tax identification number are quite simple. Whether you are in France, Spain or Germany, you can request a NIF number by yourself, by going to the Finanças office, with an ID document and a proof of address. That said, it’s easier said than done, since most people working there do not speak any other language than Portuguese, not even a bit of english, so being understood is often really difficult. 

Since COVID-19, you can’t just go to the Finanças office and do your request, you must take an appointment by phone, but nobody on the phone hotline speaks english, so you will have to speak Portuguese to say that you want one, and you will have to understand what they say since they won’t send you a confirmation for the appointment.

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Obtaining a NIF: applying online and receiving it by email

Any individual wishing to obtain a personal identification number can initiate the administrative steps via an online service who will do the request on your behalf. 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 can you still get one if you 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 at a fair price. 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 05-23-2023 by AnchorLess

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