What is a NIE number?
This will be one of the first questions you will be asking yourself when you move over to Spain. Succinctly, 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.
Why do you need a NIE number?
Any activity in Spain that requires you, as a non-resident, to pay taxes will need you to apply for a NIE number. A NIE number does not preclude your tax residency. Below is an open list of why it is required:
- 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: Y-12345678-R.
How to apply for a NIE number
- Apply abroad in person, through a Spanish consulate.
- 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. contract