1. Tax Id Number in Portugal or NIF for foreign citizens

If you are a foreign citizen, and for any reason need to apply for the Taxpayer Identification Number in Portugal (or contributor number and NIF as called in Portugal), you can do it at any tax office or citizen shop in Portugal, the following ways:

1) If you are national or resident of a European Union country or have dual-citizenship, simply present your ID European citizen Card, and proof of address of your residence in Europe.

2) If you are from a country outside the European Union, you need to have a person who will be your Tax Representative in Portugal, who should be a Portuguese citizen or have a permanent residence authorization in Portugal. Since April 2016 the temporary residence holders can not be tax representatives. Your tax representative must present his ID or Portuguese Citizen Card or Permanent Residence Card, and his Taxpayer Number. You just need to show your passport, and a proof of your address in your origin country. You must also have the stamp in the passport of entry in the country (if you entered through an uncontrolled border, you need to go to the SEF office in 3 days to register your entry).


Your tax address will be aggregated to your tax representative, to whom will be send your password to access the Tax Authority Portal, and all correspondence from the Portuguese Tax Authorities. He is also responsible for ensuring compliance with all your tax obligations. If you later obtain a residence authorization, you then can disaggregate the representative. For that, simply take your Residence Card, and your Tax Id Number (NIF) to any tax office, and ask for the change.



The Tax Id Number (NIF) is assigned immediately when requested, being provided immediately a taxpayer registration document, with your official Number (the cost of this procedure in the Tax office is € 10.20).


You can also apply for the Tax Id Number (NIF) without being in Portugal. For that the request should be made directly by your tax representative in Portugal. and it’s necessary for that a certified copy of the passport and a specific power of attorney for this purpose.


  1. Tax Representation in Portugal – Representation in IRS and VAT


  1. The obligation to appoint a Tax Representative on IRS (Individuals)


Defined in the Individuals Income Tax Code (IRS) in Article 130, it is mandatory to appoint a Tax Representative whenever a person without residence in Portugal, or that while living in the country is absent for a period exceeding six months, get’s income in Portugal subject to tax, or that for any other reason wishes to have the Portuguese Taxpayer Id Number (NIF).


It is also a legal requirement that all non-residents wishing to purchase a property in Portugal, or hold any assets, appoint a Tax Representative. The Tax Representative is legally responsible for receiving their fees, property taxes, inform the taxpayer of all tax obligations, and ensure that payment is made within the designated time limits. The obligation to appoint a Tax Representative on VAT (Individuals and Companies with activity)


Defined in the Tax Value Added Code (CIVA) in Article 30, non-residents (individual or collective) without a permanent establishment in Portugal, that here practice taxable transactions in VAT, are required to appoint a Tax Representative who is also a registered subject of VAT tax.

Also all foreign citizens wishing to start an activity on their own (self-employed), will be required to appoint a Tax Representative for VAT, which is himself a taxable person for VAT. This applies even if you don’t exceed the VAT exemption limit of CIVA Article 53 (10.000€ annual), since you practice taxable VAT transactions even being momentarily exempt.


The Tax Representative must have a power of attorney with sufficient powers to do so, and must comply with all VAT obligations, including registration, and is liable for the tax shown in debt, for the transactions carried out by the foreign company or indicidual. For this reason, this type of representation has increased responsibility for the representative. This requirement is optional for individuals or companies with headquarters or permanent establishment in an EU Member State.


  1. Consequences of not appointing a Tax Representative


In addition to the consequences that may result from not receiving the communications from the Tax Authority, with the failure to designate a Tax Representative, the taxpayer whether individual or collective, incurs in a tax offense subject to the payment of a fine from €50.00 to €5,000.00.

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