Can I cancel a NIF if I decide not to move to Portugal?

/ Last Updated: September 9, 2023 / 4 Comments

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Need a NIF number? Get $10 off when you visit Bordr via this link.

You may be thinking about moving to Portugal now, but your plans could change. You might decide that Portugal isn’t right for you or that you’re not ready to make the most just yet. If you’ve already ordered a NIF number, can you simply cancel it? This is a question that gets asked a lot as, understandably, most people want to cut ties with anything financial or tax-related if they decide not to move to Portugal.

According to Kathleen Lo from Bordr, “the Portuguese tax office does not allow for the cancellation of your NIF even if you no longer live in Portugal – or if you had gotten your NIF and later decided not to move to Portugal.” This means that you cannot cancel a NIF number and it will always exist.

However, just because you have a Portuguese NIF number that doesn’t mean that you have tax obligations or any kind of financial ties to Portugal. Lo points out that, “as of 2022, you no longer need an ongoing fiscal representative if you have a NIF, don’t reside in Portugal, and don’t have any tax obligations here (e.g. owning a property).”

Get a NIF with for just $140.

One thing to be aware of is fiscal representation. If you’ve obtained a NIF through a lawyer or a company, it’s quite likely that they will charge you an annual fee for fiscal representation. This is typically free or included in the first year, but there will normally be an annual fee once that first year is up. But, as Lo points out, you no longer need to have a fiscal representative if you have a NIF, don’t reside in Portugal, and don’t have any tax obligations in Portugal, such as owning a property. If you’ve changed your plans without developing financial ties to Portugal (like purchasing a property) then you are off the hook. Just remember to submit a request to remove your fiscal representative and be sure to let your lawyer or the company that obtained your NIF know that you will no longer need fiscal representation.

“When you obtain a NIF with Bordr, we provide you with one year of fiscal representation. If you decide not to move to Portugal during that period, and don’t have any tax obligations in Portugal, you can submit a request to remove your fiscal representative.”

Bordr have a very useful guide on changing your address and cancelling your fiscal rep. The main guide can be found here and a separate guide for EU/EEA residents can be found here.

Have other questions? Be sure to read our big guide all about Portugal’s NIF number.

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Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

You can contact James by emailing or via the site's contact form. This article includes contributions from Kathleen Lo, co-founder of Kathleen's answers have been verified by Bordr's lawyers.

Originally published: November 2022 & Last Updated: September 9, 2023.