In order to undertake any official process in Portugal, such as buying a property, opening a bank account or even setting up an account with a utilities company you will be required to have a tax card and fiscal number.
But what is a fiscal number? Why do you need a tax identification number in Portugal and how do you get one?
What is a Portuguese fiscal number?
A fiscal number is a tax identification number that is issued in Portugal to anyone who wishes to undertake any official matters in Portugal.
A fiscal number is known in Portugal as a Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF), it is also sometimes referred to as a Número de Contribuinte.
Obtaining this number is the first step to be taken if you are intending to invest in property in Portugal, live in Portugal, carry on a business in Portugal or establish any form of official presence in Portugal.
Who needs to have a fiscal number in Portugal?
You will need to obtain a Portuguese fiscal number in order to:
- Buy property in Portugal*
- Sell property in Portugal
- Inherit assets in Portugal
- Open a bank account in Portugal
- Obtain a mortgage or other credit in Portugal
- Pay taxes in Portugal
- Receive income from work or a business in Portugal
- Study in Portugal
- Receive social security benefits in Portugal
- Buy a car or apply for a driver’s licence in Portugal
- Setting up utilities or telecommunications in Portugal
*If you are buying a property in Portugal and more than one person will be registered in the title to the property each person will need to have their own Portuguese tax identification number.
You will need a fiscal number in order to undertake any of the above even if you are not and do not intend to be resident in Portugal.
How do you apply for a fiscal number in Portugal?
There are several ways in which to apply for your tax cards and fiscal number in Portugal.
You can apply for a Portuguese fiscal number through a lawyer or fiscal representative in Portugal.
This can be an easy way to obtain a Portuguese Tax cards and your NIF number, particularly if you are going to instruct a lawyer to assist you with a property purchase or business matters anyway.
Your Portuguese lawyer/ fiscal representative will be able to advise you what will be required in order to obtain your tax identification number in Portugal.
They will usually need a copy of your passport and a Power of Attorney document which expressly gives them permission to request an NIF number on your behalf. A Portuguese lawyer can easily prepare this power of attorney document for you which will need to be signed in front of a notary either in Portugal or in the UK.
Once you have authorised your lawyer/ tax representative to obtain the fiscal number on your behalf, they can take care of the whole process.
You can also apply for a Fiscal number in Portugal in person if you are an EU resident. EU residents, can apply for a fiscal number in person in Portugal. In order to apply for your tax card and fiscal number, you will need to visit a local tax office (Financas) with some official identification (such as a passport or EU identification card).
How do you get a fiscal number for a company or business in Portugal?
In respect of companies and other corporate entities, the tax identification number for businesses in Portugal is the corporation tax reference number, the VAT registration number and the company registration number.
The fiscal number for business given to the company when it is set up or registers a permanent business establishment in Portugal. The tax identification number for businesses can be obtained from the National Company Registry office (Registo Nacional de Pessoas Colectivas), or online, through the “Company Portal” (Portal da Empresa). Documents evidencing that the company exists and the authority for the person applying to apply for the fiscal number in the company’s name will be required.