How To Get A NIF Number in Portugal

The Portuguese NIF number simply refers to a unique tax identification number in Portugal, which is assigned to each individual by the Portuguese authorities. The number is used for tax purposes, including paying taxes. In a nutshell, you can’t really go anywhere without this number in Portugal, which is why it’s extremely important to understand how to secure yourself a tax identification number and become a Portuguese tax resident. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the NIF number in Portugal. 

What Is The Tax Identification Number (NIF Number) in Portugal?

The Portuguese NIF number also referred to in Portuguese as Número de Identificação Fiscal or the número de contribuinte is a tax identification number in Portugal. Each person gets their own number, consisting of nine digits, and is issued by the tax authorities in Portugal. No matter what you do in Portugal, you’ll use this number in one way or another. Moreover, this number is also found on tax cards and a citizen’s ID card (but more on this later).

Acquiring a NIF number in Portugal is for all intent and purposes free, but you must pay roughly €6.80 for a Portuguese tax card.

nif number tax identification portugal

Who Uses The Tax Identification Number In Portugal?

Anyone residing in Portugal must get a NIF number, especially if they’re doing things like opening up a Portuguese bank account, working as a freelancer/contractor, running a business, or buying a property in Portugal. In essence, a NIF number is a must for anyone living in Portugal, especially for Portuguese citizens. 

While not having a tax identification number Portugal is by no means illegal, it certainly makes peoples’ lives difficult when it comes to filing taxes, dealing with Portuguese bureaucracy, opening up a bank account, and the likes. 

In summary, if you plan to run any kind of official fiscal transaction in Portugal, then a Portuguese NIF number is a must.

Where Can I Use My Portuguese NIF Number?

The short answer is, in lots of places! The Portuguese NIF number is used for more occasions like:

  • Buying and selling a property
  • Inheriting Portuguese assets 
  • Opening a bank account
  • Acquiring loans including a mortgage
  • Paying taxes in Portugal
  • Receiving an income
  • Enrolling in a Portuguese university
  • Receiving social security payments
  • Setting up utilities 
  • Buying a car or applying for a Portuguese driving license
  • Signing a local contract (Portuguese mobile phone plan for instance)

How To Get a NIF Number in Portugal

How you get the NIF number in Portugal depends on whether you’re a non-resident or Portuguese resident.  You can also procure a NIF within Portugal or overseas and do the whole application remotely. It all depends on your unique situation.

Right now, you can apply for a NIF in any of the following places:

  • Local tax office of the Portuguese tax authority
  • At a local branch of a Citizen Shop
  • With a third-party provider that handles the entire NIF application on your behalf like Get NIF Portugal

Getting your NIF as a Portuguese resident

Go to ‘ “Finanças” (the local tax office) in person, and request a NIF. Be prepared to come with documents ready (more on that below). If you’re a business, you can apply for a NIF at the Portal Das “Finanças” website, but an important thing to flag here is that the website is in Portuguese only. Alternatively, you can seek assistance from a lawyer or accountant who can apply for a NIF number on your behalf.  Note, only businesses can get a NIF online, not individuals. 

Getting your NIF remotely

Applying for a NIF number is also possible without being physically in Portugal. Especially if you’re not yet living in Portugal. As a non-resident, you can apply outside of Portugal via a qualified Portuguese lawyer or fiscal representative who will take care of the whole matter for you. We at Global Citizen Solutions happen to provide this service for incoming clients. For more information, contact us today.

Getting your NIF as a non-EU/EEA national

Here’s the thing. If you’re a non-EU/EEA national, then applying for Portuguese residency and the NIF number works a bit differently. Your best bet is to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa program, which offers Portuguese residency to qualifying applicants. To acquire residency, you must make a qualifying investment in the country, usually by buying a property or investing in funds. When applying for the Portugal Golden Visa, it’s possible to acquire a Portuguese NIF number at the same time.

Consult our Golden Visa Portugal guide for more information.

Step By Step Guide

Step 1: Obtain the Required Documents 

First things first. Without the right paperwork in order, you’ll be turned away at the local tax authority. When dealing with Portuguese bureaucracy, it’s paramount that you always have all your paperwork sorted beforehand. 

Show up with an appropriate photo ID (either ID or passport), and if you’re a non-EU/EEA national, then you must present your passport. In some situations, authorities can also accept your birth certificate. 

If you happen to be a resident already in Portugal, then you must provide proof of your residential address (a utility bill, rental contract, etc. should suffice). If you’re applying from abroad via an attorney, then you’ll need to submit a document signed by an attorney (and translated into Portuguese) which gives them permission to act on your behalf. 

Step 2: Visit the nearest Finanças to your address

Simply find out what the closest Finanças office is for you then check their opening and closing hours beforehand. Remember, you need to bring your passport/ID card and proof of residence to the office with you.

Step 3: Get Your NIF Number 

After submitting the required documents, it usually takes a few minutes for your NIF number to be generated. Upon which, you can leave the local authorities with a brand new NIF number and a document proving your NIF number. Note, your NIF doesn’t expire. 

Pro tip: Some people have been able to get a NIF number in the past by simply emailing Finanças. This has at least worked for EU/EEA residents. In particular, people have had luck emailing the Portimão office ([email protected]) and have gotten the NIF number within days. You’ll need to email over a scan or photo of your passport or ID card along with proof of residential address in Portugal. It is also helpful to explain why you need the NIF number (ideally in Portuguese).

Note, if you don’t hear back from them in a few business days, try contacting another office and try your luck there. While this can be a convenient and hassle-free way to obtain the NIF, it can just as easily take ages if you’re not getting a response. 

How is the Portuguese Tax Card Different from a NIF Number?

The Portuguese tax card is issued to individuals after they obtain their NIF number. It’s shaped like a credit card and contains your unique NIF number, the issue date, and the issuing regional tax authority’s name. However, you don’t need to worry too much about this card, since the NIF number also appears in many other official documents. 

The NIF Number And The Portugal Golden Visa Process

The Portugal Golden Visa Program is an extremely popular residency by investment initiative that allows qualifying investors to obtain Portuguese residency within a year. Applicants who go through the Portugal Golden Visa application process must also obtain a NIF number to be able to open a bank account. The good news is, it’s extremely easy to obtain the NIF, and if you opt to apply for the Portugal Golden Visa with a lawyer or consulting partner, they can take care of the whole thing for you.

tax identification number Portugal

Resources for living and investing in Portugal

We’ve curated some handy guides to help you with all things related to Portugal.

Frequently Asked Questions About The NIF Number Portugal

What is the tax number in Portugal?

This number is known as NIF (Numero de Identificacao Fiscal). It is also known as contribution number (Numero de Contribuinte) or personal tax number. NIF is a nine-digit number. No one can conduct any financial activity or business without this number.

How do I find my NIF number?

This number is located on correspondence between yourself and the Portuguese tax authority. You’ll also find it on tax cards and the citizen’s ID card.

How do I get a NIF number in Portugal?

The most common way to get a NIF is simply to visit a Finanças office (or alternatively a Loja do Cidadão office). Use Google Maps to find the one nearest to you. You will need to bring: a passport (or ID card for EU citizens)

How do I get a taxpayer ID?

Getting a taxpayer identification number is simple. You can ask for one at any branch of the Tax Authority, or at a Citizen’s Office.

The tax representative for the NIF Portugal should:

  • Present a Citizen’s Card or Permanent Residency Card;
  • Present his or her TIN;
  • Confirm the Portuguese address.