What is an NIE and what is it for? FAQs
In this article Martin Hayes of SWAN Partners Gives a simple and to the point replies to the most frequently asked questions about Spanish NIE fiscal numbers.
What is an NIE?
As opposed to many other countries, it is compulsory for Spanish people to have an Identification Number besides their driving license or passports. The NIE is just the equivalent for foreign people: a document issued by the police with a number that officially identifies the person who appears in it, in order for them to be able to complete transactions in Spain.
What is it for?
In the vast majority of cases, a non-Spanish national will have to have an NIE to complete an economic and/or administrative interaction in which formal identification is needed. Examples of when an NIE is needed would include buying or selling a property, buying and or registering a car, opening a bank account, taking up employment, starting up a business and acceptance a gift or inheritance of a Spanish asset.
Do I have to be a EU citizen to get one?
No – People of from inside and outside the European Union can apply for an NIE.
Additional straight forward paperwork may be required if you are applying for an NIE certificate as a non-European.
What is the relation between having an NIE and being a resident?
An NIE is just a fiscal identification number – it is totally separate from residency.
Having an NIE by itself will NOT change your tax residency.
Likewise you do not have to become a resident in order to get a NIE.
What is the relation between a NIE and being a tax resident?
As mentioned above, having an NIE does not of itself imply that you have to become a tax resident or declare taxes in Spain. These conditions are independent from each other.
If you decide to apply for residency at a later date your NIE number as it appears on your NIE certificate will be carried over to your residency card.
Your NIE will appear on all tax declarations made in Spain be it as a resident or as a non-resident.
Please contact Martin Hayes of SWAN Partners for assistance or further information.