How to get a NIF (taxpayer number) in Portugal

Obtaining a NIF in Portugal is a fundamental requirement for your day-to-day life in Portugal. A NIF (Tax Identification Number) is a 9-digit number assigned to individuals subject to taxation in Portugal.

Although NIFs are mainly assigned to residents of Portugal, they can also be obtained by non-residents.

Why do you need a NIF?

The NIF is indispensable for many aspects of daily life, from opening a bank account to setting up a business in Portugal. Among other reasons, a NIF in Portugal is essential for:

  • Opening a bank account;
  • Renting or buying a property;
  • Contracting essential services such as electricity, water and telecommunications;
  • Buying a vehicle;
  • Paying taxes;
  • Entering into employment contracts;
  • Setting up a company.

For companies, the equivalent of the NIF is the legal person identification number (NIPC), issued by the National Registry of Legal Persons (RNPC).

Our experienced team can help you obtain your NIF

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How to get a NIF (taxpayer number) in Portugal: Residents vs. Non-Residents

The NIF in Portugal can be obtained by residents or non-residents in the country and the process differs according to each person's specific circumstances.

NIF for residents of Portugal

If you reside in Portugal and want to obtain a NIF, you need to go to your local tax office or Loja do Cidadão (“Citizens’ Shop”). You must bring your identity document (citizen's card or passport) and proof of residence in Portuguese territory.

NIF for European citizens

European citizens must present proof of residence in their respective countries, along with a personal identity document, in order to obtain their NIF in Portugal.

NIF for non-residents of Portugal

Non-residents subject to taxation in Portugal must also obtain a Portuguese NIF. Like Portuguese residents, non-residents need to present a personal identity document and proof of residence.

However, non-EU taxpayers (citizens of countries outside the EU) may have to appoint a tax representative in Portugal.

What is a tax representative in Portugal?

In Portugal, a tax representative acts as an intermediary between non-resident individuals and the Portuguese Tax Authority, ensuring compliance with tax obligations.

A tax representative is not responsible for the payment of taxes by the non-resident whom they represent.

The responsibilities of a tax representative in Portugal include receiving correspondence from the tax authorities and fulfilling tax duties, such as filing returns and exercising rights before the authorities. 

If you are a non-resident and conduct activities that are subject to VAT in Portugal, your tax representative must also be a VAT payer and handle tax payments.

How to get a NIF (taxpayer number) in Portugal

Do non-residents of Portugal pay taxes?

Non-residents of Portugal are liable to pay tax on their income earned in Portugal.

This income includes dividends, capital gains, interest, royalties, salaries, income from a professional or real estate activity, and pensions, among others.

What is the deadline for appointing a tax representative in Portugal?

Generally, you have a period of 15 days in which to appoint a tax representative in Portugal or register to receive information from one of the digital notification channels.

If you fail to appoint a tax representative (where mandatory), you may be fined. Fines can range from €75 to €7,500, and offenders can face restrictions on their right to file administrative and judicial appeals.

Is a tax representative always necessary for non-residents?

No; a tax representative is not mandatory in all cases. Non-residents can opt for the digital notification channels provided for in Portuguese tax legislation.

In this regard, we would like to point out that Portuguese tax legislation provides that, in most cases, taxpayers are considered to have been validly notified five days after the digital communication has been made available.

This means that there is an administrative presumption that the communication was safely received and acknowledged by the taxpayer after five days.
However, Portuguese law stipulates that the appointment of a tax representative in Portugal remains mandatory whenever a non-EU resident:

  • owns a vehicle or property in Portugal;
  • has an employment contract in Portugal; 
  • is self-employed in Portugal. 

Tax Representation in Portugal

To avoid any problems or legal fees, it is crucial that you correctly fulfil your tax obligations in Portugal. NEWCO can act as your tax representative in Portugal and help you fulfil your tax obligations.

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