What is a NIE number?
One of the first questions you will ask yourself when you move over to Spain is exactly this: what is the NIE number? A NIE number is a tax identification number for foreigners which identifies you before the Spanish Tax Office and allows you to file and pay taxes in Spain.
What do I need a NIE number for?
Any activity in Spain that requires you, as a non-resident, to pay taxes will require filling in your NIE number. A NIE number does not preclude your tax residency. Some examples of what the NIE is needed for are as follows:
- Buying & selling property.
- Renting out property.
- Connecting your property to utilities.
- Inheriting assets in Spain.
- Opening a bank account.
- Taking out insurance.
- Importing/buying/selling a car.
- Importing/buying/selling a boat.
- Working in Spain (short-term jobs under 3 months only)
- Studying in Spain.
- Claiming benefits.
- Obtaining a mortgage or any other type of personal loan.
- Can be used to enrol in a town hall census.
- Some elite private foreign schools require a NIE number from parents and/or new (foreign) pupils to enrol them
Who needs a NIE number?
- Any foreigner who becomes resident in Spain for tax purposes.
- Any non-resident who plans to own assets in Spain i.e. real estate, car, boat etc.
- Any foreigner who plans to work, study or start a business in Spain.
What does a NIE number look like?
A NIE number is issued by the National police on a standard A4 size piece of paper which also has your name, surname, date of birth and nationality. Example: X-12345678-Y.
How to apply for a NIE number:
- Apply abroad in person, through a Spanish consulate in your home country.
- Apply in person in Spain before a Spanish National Police station or Oficina de Extranjería.
- Apply by representative. You can appoint a law firm to act on your behalf as proxy using a Power of Attorney specific to NIE numbers.
What is required to attain a NIE?
- Fill in the relevant application form in Spanish.
- Pay the administration fee.
- Justification on why you need it e.g. private sales contract