The nine digits you need as a resident in Portugal.
The Portuguese NIF, or Número de Identificação Fiscal, is the tax identification number used in Portugal. It is similar to a Social Security number or a national insurance number in other countries. The NIF is a unique 9-digit number assigned to individuals, companies, and other entities for tax purposes.
For individuals, the NIF is used for a wide range of financial and administrative activities, including filing tax returns, opening bank accounts, buying property, and accessing social services. It is also required for any employment or business activities in Portugal.
Foreigners who reside or carry out economic activities in Portugal are also required to obtain a Portuguese NIF. This is often a necessary step for individuals who want to work, study, or invest in the country.
To obtain a NIF, individuals need to apply for one at a local tax office (Repartição de Finanças) or through a representative in Portugal. Non-residents can also obtain a NIF through a local tax representative or through the Portuguese consulates abroad.
In summary, the Portuguese NIF is a crucial identification number for tax and administrative purposes in Portugal, and it is necessary for both residents and non-residents who engage in financial or economic activities in the country.
On a side note:
When shopping in supermarkets, shops or in restaurants, many times you will be asked if you like a fatura (receipt) before you pay. If so, the NIF is the information they need to enter into the cash register. Nowadays, this information goes straight to the IRS. (Many times it is also easier to give your NIF rather than your name, for example at places you visit more frequently, or at the telephone company updating your contract.)
Online shopping on a Portuguese website, or registering anything online when residing in Portugal …. you always need a NIF. As mentioned already, it is like a social security number, it sticks to a Portuguese citizen or anyone living in Portugal.
But know this …. in 2014 the Portuguese Government introduced the “Fatura da Sorte”, the “Lucky Tax Receipt”.
The competition was created by Pedro Passos Coelho’s PSD/CDS-PP government to reward “taxpayers’ fiscal citizenship” and combat the black economy, the executive announced at the time.
To be eligible, consumers have to ask for their NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) to be entered on their purchase invoices, the value of which is then divided into coupons.
At first, high-value cars were raffled off and, in 2016, António Costa’s Socialist government kept the raffle going, but stopped offering cars and started handing out Poupança Mais Treasury Certificates, worth 35,000 euros.
“Fatura da Sorte” has distributed almost 18.7 million euros in prizes since its creation in 2014, until December 2022. One reason that many Portuguese ask for a fatura with their NIF on it … you might become a lucky winner.
*The “Fatura da Sorte” is to start again sometime this year.