February 27th, 2014
In many cases, particularly for Spanish property sales and purchases; and inheritance matters, N.I.E. numbers (Spanish fiscal numbers) are of critical importance. They are usually required extremely urgently, in order to avoid delays in legal transactions and/or increases in tax liabilities.
There are three principal ways to obtain N.I.E numbers:
1. In person, in Spain at a National Police office. This usually involves three stages: the attendance to present the paperwork and ID documentation; payment of the issuing tax; and finally, return (in person) to collect the N.I.E. Certificate (usually after 7-10 days). There are independent service providers available, who assist with the paperwork and provide guidance on the process. So, for individuals who are able to be in Spain for the period indicated for this process (and whose knowledge of the Spanish language is adequate), it is quite straightforward.
2. In person, at a Spanish Consulate office (for example, in the UK: in London, Manchester or Edinburgh). In this case, the process can be extremely lengthy and inconvenient, as the Spanish Consulate operates as a ‘post box’ for submitting the application to Madrid; and thereafter, communication has to be to a Spanish address. We would only usually recommend this option in exceptional and non-urgent cases.
3. Through an authorised representative, in Spain. There have been changes of practice and procedural requirements over the years; and also documentation requirements differ between areas of Spain. ID and legal representation has to be specifically proved, so expert/ professional representation is generally essential, to avoid problems and delays.
The issue of N.I.E. numbers is one of the first points to be covered in any of our client cases. We provide full guidance and assistance to our clients in overcoming this legal hurdle. Obtaining N.I.E. numbers is not usually a ‘stand alone’ service that we provide (although there are others who specialise in this service). However, we do have a system in place for our client cases, where we can quickly and simply obtain our clients’ N.I.E. numbers for them, when needed.