Do tourists need a NIF in Portugal?

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Last updated on June 14, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

If you’re visiting Portugal, you may come across the concept of the NIF number. It’s a 9-digit tax number that’s used as identification when opening a bank account, starting a mobile phone contract, or renting a property. It is also used in day-to-day life too, for example when you’re at the supermarket.

As a tourist, there are only a few instances where you’re likely to be asked for a número de identificação Fiscal e.g.

  • At the supermarket.
  • When using a Portuguese website, such as the public transport or an online shop.
  • When filling out any paperwork.

However, you aren’t legally required to give your NIF in all circumstances. According to Kathleen Lo from Bordr, ‘you are required to provide your NIF when making large purchases like a car or a house because these come with annual tax obligations. In the supermarket, giving your NIF is optional because this simply allows you to have tax deductions on your personal income.’

Generally speaking, most tourists won’t need a Portuguese tax number. If you get asked for it at the supermarket, you don’t need to give over anything. If you get asked for it on a Portuguese website, you can usually just give 9 zeros (000-000-000) or your passport number.

If you decide to purchase a property in Portugal while you’re here, that would be different and you would need to get a NIF as a non-resident. The same applies for a car. However, generally speaking, if you’re just visiting Portugal, you won’t actually need a NIF number.

For more information, read our guide to getting a Portuguese NIF.

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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.

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  1. Hi
    If I visit Portugal for 3 months or less and rent an apt do I need an Nif.
    Or if I stsy in and Air b and b for my stay do I still need an nif.


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