How to get NIF in Portugal: tax number without intermediaries and overpayments
Whether you are planning to move permanently or want to buy property in Portugal for investment purposes, you cannot do without a tax number.
Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF) is necessary for running a business, legal employment, making purchases and much more. In this article we will talk about how to get NIF in Portugal and what else it can be useful for.
NIF – what is it?
In Portugal, the tax number is very important. On the one hand, the law does not oblige you to receive NIF. But without it, you will not be able to open a bank account, get a job legally, or connect to the Internet in your apartment.
NIF in Portugal is practically the same as TIN in Russia. This is a 9-digit number that is assigned to an individual or legal entity by local tax authorities. With it, your opportunities in Portugal expand significantly. After going through a simple procedure for obtaining NIF, you can do business, buy real estate, apply for a residence permit, etc.
It is quite difficult to find information on how to obtain NIF in Portugal on the Russian-language Internet. Therefore, often all kinds of intermediaries and companies offer quite expensive services for opening a tax number. But in fact, there is nothing complicated in this procedure. The main thing is to find a person who will act as a guarantor at the local tax office – Finanças.
Please note that a guarantor is only required for foreigners from non-EU countries. Citizens of the European Union can request a tax number on their own.
How to get a tax number
A guarantor is any adult taxpayer who agrees to spend half an hour of his time accompanying you to the tax office. This role can be played not only by a Portuguese, but also by a foreigner who has a residence permit in Portugal and is registered here as a taxpayer. In principle, the first condition necessarily includes the second: without a tax number, it is impossible to obtain a residence permit in the country.
The NIF application is completed directly at the Finanças branch, where a special form is issued. In this case, the guarantor gives his tax number and shows an identification document. The foreigner, in turn, must present a passport and give his home address. In some Finanças branches, employees may require a certificate of residence, so it is better to take care of it in advance before leaving for Portugal.
Technically, any bill that you receive at your home address is suitable as such a certificate – for water, electricity, internet, etc. The main thing is that in addition to the address, your first and last name is indicated there. The problem is that any Russian-language document will have to be translated into Portuguese or at least English. The translation must be certified by a notary.
It will be easier and cheaper to initially take a certificate of residence in English. This service can be provided, for example, by your bank or the HR department at work. The main thing for Portuguese fiscal officials is that the paper looks official. Oddly enough, having a seal is not necessary, although it won’t hurt.
The cost of obtaining NIF in Portugal in 2018 is 7.5 euros. The number is issued within 10-15 minutes after the request. NIF does not have an expiration date. The applicant is given a certificate printed on a printer, and after a few months you can order a plastic card.
In addition, NIF in Portugal is indicated on identity cards: on a plastic identification card, which replaces an internal passport for citizens of the country, or on a residence permit for legally residing foreigners.
NIF: number that is always with you
Most Portuguese know their tax number by heart and use it almost daily. The fact is that when making purchases for any amount – in stores, pharmacies, restaurants, gas stations – the seller must ask the buyer for NIF. The buyer, in turn, is not obliged to name him, unless we are talking about large transactions, for example, the purchase of real estate. But many actively use their right to register purchases in the tax system: at the end of each financial year, the state returns a certain part of the money spent in the form of an income tax rebate.
For some expense items, the refund amounts are quite significant. Ordinary citizens thus receive a significant discount on medicines and medical services, and entrepreneurs receive a significant discount on costs associated with doing business. In addition, to popularize the system, the state periodically holds a kind of lottery – it awards cash prizes to those who make purchases indicating NIF.
Why is this necessary? This approach allows us to minimize “gray” schemes and helps combat tax evasion by commercial structures. And for foreigners living here, this is one of the ways to demonstrate their law-abidingness and loyalty to the state: by spending money in a legal way, you support the local economy and help create jobs.