Individual Tax Identification Number – NIF: The Portuguese “SSN”

30 de September, 2023

Individual Tax Identification Number – NIF: The Portuguese “SSN”

The Fiscal Identification Number - NIF (or Taxpayer Number) is a sequential number assigned to individuals to identify them before the Tax Administration of Portugal. It is equivalent to the SSN in USA.
Reading: 3 min

The Tax Identification Number – NIF (also called Número de Contribuinte) is a sequential number attributed to the citizen to identify him/her before the Portuguese Tax Authorities. In comparative terms, the NIF in Portugal is equivalent to the SSN- Social Security Number in America. Therefore, the NIF is mandatory for citizens who are subject to obligations or who wish to exercise their rights before the Portuguese Tax and Customs Administration.

The NIF can be obtained by any citizen, national or foreign, resident or not in Portugal. The most common cases of application, and the respective necessary documentation, are as follows:

  1. Application by the person concerned, residing in Portugal. At the time of application must be submitted
    (i) the passport of the applicant and
    (ii) proof of residence of the applicant in Portugal.
  2. Application by the interested party, not resident in Portugal. In this case it is necessary to appoint a “tax representative” residing in the country. Thus, at the time of the application, the following must be presented:
    (i) the passport of the interested party,
    (ii) the proof of residence of the interested party in Brazil,
    (iii) the declaration of acceptance of tax representation signed by the tax representative,
  3. Application by the “fiscal representative” of the interested party, the latter not resident in Portugal. At the time of the application must be presented
    (i) a specific power of attorney for the purpose signed by the interested party,
    (ii) a certified copy of the passport of the represented/interested party,
    (iii) proof of residence of the represented/interested party in Brazil,
    (iv) declaration of acceptance of tax representation signed by the tax representative, (v) the passport or identification card of the tax representative,
    (vi) proof of residence of the tax representative in Portugal.

It’s important to note that if you obtained your NIF with the help of a fiscal representative, after residing in Portugal for a few months, you can cancel the fiscal representation linked to your name and NIF. All you need to do is provide proof of residence, such as a lease agreement or a certificate issued by the parish council.

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Where to request the NIF

The request can be made at the service counters of the Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneiraa, the counters of the Lojas do CIdadão that provide the service, as well as the counters that provide the Citizen’s Card (Cartão de Cidadão). The issuance of the document is free.

If you don’t reside in Portugal and need help obtaining your NIF, we recommend hiring the services of a specialized company like Atlantic Bridge. Our team of experts is qualified and authorized to act as a legal representative. We handle your request with care and professionalism.

What is the NIF used for?

The NIF is an essential number for a variety of transactions and legal situations. It is required in financial operations, contracts, employment, renting, invoice issuance, opening bank accounts, property purchases, tax payments, among others. It serves as personal fiscal identification and is vital for participation in the country’s economic life. It is the first step for those intending to invest, live, work, or study in Portugal. Have questions? Talk to our consultants!

Want to organize your finances in Portugal? Schedule a tax consultation now!

Author: Roberta Fraser
Citizenship & Immigration

*The information contained in this Article shall be provided in a general and abstract manner and shall not replace consultation and qualified professional assistance addressed to the specific case. The content of this article may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the express permission of the author.



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