The NIE number (Número de Identification de Extranjero) is a tax identification number for all foreigners and is required by any resident or non-resident with financial affairs in Spain.
The NIE number is required to do any of the following:
- Apply for a mortgage
- Buy, sell or insure a Property
- To open a bank account
- To register with Social Security
- To apply for a driving license
- For any form of employment or to start a business
- To pay taxes or for any other tax purposes
- To buy a car
If you do decide to spend more than 90 days in Spain (non-consecutive) in one calendar year for tax purposes you should apply for residencia. By becoming a resident in Spain you do not forfeit any of your rights at your country of citizenship.
Applying for NIE Number and residecia is a very simple process and can be done via any legal representative or translator. Often people choose to give power of attorney to a legal representative to allow for it to be done in their absence.
Once you have purchased your home in Spain you should also register with your local town hall (empadronamiento). This is a very simple yet important document that proves your registered at your address, even if its only a holiday home its still important to be registered. By being registered it gives you the right to vote in local elections but also has an affect on the budget for your local council.