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Ask the Realtor: What is a NIE Number and Why do you Need it?

Ask the Realtor: What is a NIE Number and Why do you Need it?
8 Apr 2019

What is a NIE number?

You may have heard that you need a NIE number when buying a property in Spain. So what is a NIE number? NIE stands for ´Número de Identificación del Extranjero´ and represents an identity number for foreigners. It is in fact an identification number for tax purposes. This fiscal number is required for foreigners who own a property in Spain. The number is linked to a person and never changes, even if the person buys and sells various properties, the number is retained. This number should also be mentioned in the tax returns in Spain. It may seem a bit odd that this number has to be requested in the police station, but we will apply for this number, so you don´t have to worry about the formalities.

NIE number

Why do you need a NIE number?

The number is required for making any fiscal transactions within Spain. This NIE is required to pay taxes to the tax authorities. The number appears on all official documents issued in Spain. This Spanish NIE number remains the same number and it is not transferable.

A few examples when they ask for your NIE number

  • For opening a bank account
  • When you are buying are selling your property
  • For getting a mortgage from the bank
  • At the notary
  • For paying your taxes
  • The utilities of your house, water, electricity, internet
  • For buying a cell phone or contracting a landline
  • When you want to buy a car in Spain
  • For those who live in Spain to get a driver’s license
  • To study
  • To start a business
  • Be paid for employment

The Spaniards have a different number (NIF) Número de Identificación Fiscal  which also serves as a fiscal identification number. When you want to start a business you need to have a CIF number (CIF) Certificado de Identificación Fiscal it is more or less the same than the NIF, but applies to companies rather than individuals.

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