You just moved to sunny Portugal, tried to open a bank account and got asked for your NIF number… what exactly is that? Most ex-pats will run into this question quite soon after moving to Portugal.
The NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal or Número de Contribuinte) is a tax identification number that you will need to deal with any sort of transaction in the country, such as getting a phone subscription, buying property, renting property long-term, signing up for utilities and the list goes on. So, how can you get this vital number? We are here to help you.
1. Find your closest Finanças
These are the government offices where you will deal with everything related to taxes, including getting your NIF. Make sure you know what time they open, as sometimes the opening hours may vary depending on the time of year and where in Portugal you are staying.
2. Get proof of your address from your home country
This one is easy. Just bring a bank statement that shows your address outside of Portugal. If you are already a registered resident in Portugal, bring proof of your Portuguese address.
3. Bring your proof of address and ID to Finanças
Get up early, show up 10-15 minutes before opening time so you will probably have to wait only 10-20 minutes before they open their doors (yes, everybody wants their NIF numbers). Remember to bring your passport and your proof of address with you.
4. Get your NIF!
When it’s your turn after all that waiting, let them know you want to register for the NIF and give your information. You shouldn’t have to justify why you need it, but if they do ask, stating that it’s for a bank account is a good enough reason. Once you are done, you will get a piece of paper with all your information and your very own NIF number.
That’s it! From now on every time you need to deal with something official, from purchasing a home to contracting internet, it’s a good idea to bring this important piece of paper with you. And even more important: don’t lose it! You worked too hard to get it. Take note that businesses can apply for a NIF number in Portugal online, but individuals currently cannot apply online.