If I get a NIF, will I have tax obligations in Portugal (e.g. filing a tax return)?

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Written by: | Last updated on February 29, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes
This article is available in: en_US

Moving to Portugal typically involves becoming tax resident there, but what happens if you obtain a NIF as a non-resident (i.e. someone who isn’t resident in Portugal)?

An ever-increasing number of people are being asked to obtain a Portuguese NIF as part of their residency visa application – for the D7 visa or digital nomad visa, for example – and many people ask whether having a Portuguese tax number will mean having Portuguese tax obligations as well. Understandably, most people don’t want the challenges and costs of having to file a tax return in Portugal.

The good news is that simply having a NIF number doesn’t automatically mean that you have tax obligations in Portugal. According to Kathleen Lo from Bordr, “If you obtain a Portuguese NIF you won’t automatically have tax obligations in Portugal or be required to file a Portuguese tax return.”

Get a NIF with Bordr.com for just $140.

That’s definitely good news for those that obtain a Portuguese fiscal number but don’t use it for anything. However, it should be noted that there are some instances in which you may have tax obligations in Portugal, as Lo continues.

“However, even if you haven’t made Portugal your country of residence, you may have tax obligations in Portugal if you have purchased a property or car in Portugal, for example.”

So it depends on what you’ve used your NIF for. If you have used it to purchase a property or car, then you may need fiscal representation. If, however, you’ve ordered one as part of your move to Portugal but then changed your mind, you won’t need ongoing fiscal representation.

Another bit of good news is that the law changed in 2022 regarding fiscal representation. Prior to this, non residents from outside of the EU/EEA with a Portuguese NIF number needed to have a fiscal representative. Most people ended up using a company and had to pay an annual fee for ongoing fiscal representation. Thankfully, that has now changed.

“If you are non-resident in Portugal, as of 2022 you no longer need an ongoing fiscal representative if you have a NIF but have no tax obligations in Portugal (e.g. owning a property here). You can simply activate “Electronic Notifications” in Portal das Finanças.”

If you have used a company to obtain your Portuguese fiscal number, for example Bordr, E-Residence, or any of the other companies that offer this service, it’s likely that you will be charged for ongoing fiscal representation until you cancel this service. Be sure to log into your account and contact this if you no longer need it.

Have other questions? Be sure to read our big guide to the Portuguese NIF number.

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