NIE – Número de Identificación de Extranjero

The NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) is a Spanish tax identification number that is assigned by the Spanish authorities to foreigners. This assigned number is unique and personal and is used as a way of tracking an individual’s financial and official activities in Spain. It is a legal requirement for all resident and non-resident foreigners with financial, professional or social affairs in Spain, regardless of whether they are EU citizens or from a non-EU country.

The NIE is the equivalent of a Spaniards Número de Identificación Fiscal (NIF) which serves as a fiscal identification number. The CIF number (Certificado de Identificación Fiscal) is equivalent to the NIF, but applies to companies rather than individuals. The NIE consists of an ‘X’ or ‘Y’ followed by 7 or 8 digits then another letter.

The NIE is essential for any fiscal transactions in Spain where money is paid to the Spanish Inland Revenue office. The NIE should be quoted in all dealings with tax authorities. The number appears on all documents issued in Spain and is non-transferable and does not expire.

An NIE number is needed to:

  • Open a bank account
  • Purchase, sell or to insure a property
  • Arrange for credit or to obtain a mortgage
  • Pay any taxes in Spain
  • Get paid for any employment
  • To study in Spain
  • In order to start a business
  • Register in the social system and for receipt of any social security benefits
  • Apply for a driver’s licence in Spain
  • Set up of a utility account except for pre-paid mobile phones
  • Inheritance of any assets

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