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What is a Spanish NIE number, and how to get one?

Posted on by peteradmin247

NIE is an abbreviation for Número de identidad de extranjero, which translates as ‘Identification number for foreigners’. The  main purpose of the NIE for Spain is fiscal control. Without a Spanish NIE number, the Spanish tax authorities are unable to

assess or process annual tax payments such as income tax (IRPF), and the annual wealth tax (Patrimonio), both of which are  paid by non- resident property owners. Not paying these taxes (or making provisions with the Spanish tax authorities to pay  these taxes in your country of residence under a double-taxation treaty) can incur heavy fines.

Who needs an NIE in Spain?

1. Any foreigner who becomes resident for tax purposes in Spain needs an NIE number in Spain.

2. Any non-resident foreigner who buys property in Spain. If a couple buys a property in Spain together, and they register the property in both their names, then both of them must obtain an NIE number in Spain.

When do you need to have an NIE number?

If you are buying property in Spain, then you need to have an NIE number Spain by the time you sign the deeds of purchase before notary, an event known in Spain as the escritura.

On a number of bank firesale properties it is also essential for the buyer to have a NIE number in place to reserve these properties (this is a bank stipulation).

Getting your NIE number in time for escritura means applying at least 1 month before hand if you are applying in Spain, and at least 2 months before hand if you are applying via a consulate abroad. The actual time it takes depends upon where you apply, and the time of the year.

At Properties247 our lawyers will act on your behalf to obtain your NIE number saving you a considerable amount of time, the process can be conducted from abroad, also saving you from the need to travel to Spain to complete the application process. The requirements for a third party application are detailed below.

How do you apply for an NIE number?

If you are an EU national there are 3 ways to apply for NIE numbers in Spain:

1. Apply in person in Spain.

2. Apply in person via a Spanish Consulate abroad.

3. Apply through a legal representative in Spain, using a power of attorney (POA), known as a poder in Spanish. This is the recommended route when reserving a property offered in a Spanish bank fire sale.

You will simply need to send us a copy of your passport and official address (electronically), our lawyers will then complete necessary documentation on your behalf in both English & Spanish and send back to you (electronically.

At this stage you will also need to provide the lawyers with POA to operate on your behalf, this will need to be stamped by public notary in your resident country, which can be arranged either by yourself or your local lawyers. The original copies of this documentation then simply need to be returned by post to your Spanish Lawyers to hold on File and act on your behalf.    Send article as PDF   
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