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Does my NIF Number Expire?

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Last updated on May 16, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

A common question people ask about the NIF or Portuguese fiscal number is whether or not it can expire.

Often this question is asked by people who have lived in Portugal before, and held a NIF number when they lived in Portugal. It’s also a question that’s asked by people who are thinking of moving to Portugal later on and are wondering if they should get some of the essential admin out of the way now.

According to Kathleen Lo from Bordr, a company that helps potential expats get a NIF number, ‘your NIF number does not expire and does not need to be renewed either. If you already have one, you don’t need to get another one.’

So, a NIF number isn’t like a mobile phone number which will typically expire if you don’t top it up or use it. A NIF number is permanent. This is good news for those who have already lived in Portugal and do not want the hassle of obtaining another one.

However, if you’ve forgotten your NIF number you may still need to take a trip to Finanças to find out what your number is (if you’re in Portugal). If you’re not in Portugal, Kathleen explains that you can also visit your nearest Portuguese embassy or consulate and ask there. Another thing to consider is whether your address is up to date as it’s quite likely the address you had given Finanças is no longer your residential address.

But what if you want it to expire and are concerned about ongoing ties to Portugal? Maybe you had obtained a NIF because you were planning to move to Portugal, but then changed your mind?

Although a NIF number never expires, the good news is that, as of July 2022, even if you are resident outside of the EU/EEA (e.g. the USA or UK), you don’t need to keep paying for a fiscal representative unless you have some kind of financial tie to Portugal e.g. a car or property in Portugal or you’re employed or self-employed in Portugal.

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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. This article includes contributions from Kathleen Lo, co-founder of Bordr.io.