Mark Twain once said there were only two things in life that were as certain as the dawn: death and taxes. But while there were some astonishing cases in which people escaped death, taxes are completely unavoidable!
If you owe any taxes to the Romanian state, even if you are not a Romanian citizen yourself, you might be bound by law to obtain a NIF (Fiscal Registration Number) code. Here are the most commonly asked questions about the NIF and the procedure for obtaining one, in short.
What exactly is a NIF code?
The NIF is basically a piece of paper and a number by which you are identified by the fiscal authorities in Romania (ANAF). Based on the NIF, you can legally pay taxes in Romania, even if you don’t actually live here.
Who must obtain the NIF code?
The NIF code must be obtained by foreign citizens who owe taxes to the Romanian government from activities such as house sales, lease contracts, dividends etc.
Generally, if you are also a Romanian resident and have the Romanian personal identification number (CNP), which is mentioned on your residency permit, then you do not have to obtain your NIF, as well.
You can obtain your NIF in person at ANAF or designate a Romanian as proxy to obtain it for you, with notarised power of attorney.
What documents do I need for obtaining the NIF code?
First of all, you have to fill in Form 030 – Taxpayer registration/amendments form for natural persons without a personal identification number. You can find the form either at the fiscal authorities in hard copy or online, in Romanian language here and in English here.
You should submit Form 030 when you register as taxpayer in Romania for the very first time, but also when you have to report changes about your taxpayer status, such as your source of income or your revenue.
The form must be filled in with all the necessary information and have a series of documents attached:
- passport of the foreign individual and ID for their Romanian proxy, both in copy
- power of attorney for the proxy, in original
- ascertaining documents, showing why the foreigner wants to obtain a Romanian NIF
The NIF can be obtained at the fiscal office, ANAF, corresponding to the proxy’s domicile in Romania. For example, if the proxy lives in Bucharest, District 1, the NIF file will be submitted at the respective ANAF office.
The documentation can be submitted in original at the fiscal office, but also long-distance, through postal letter with proof of delivery. However, we strongly advise to obtain your NIF in person or though proxy at the ANAF office, so that the clerks at ANAF can point out any changes that need to be made in the documentation or additional paperwork needed in your file.
How long does it take to get the NIF code?
You will obtain your NIF in about 30 days. You can also ask ANAF for urgent issuance of the document.
What happens if I don’t get the NIF code?
Because it is such an essential fiscal document, there are serious consequences if you do not get your NIF code.
First of all, without a NIF you will not be able to legally pay your taxes in Romania and submit your fiscal statements, so you might end up paying very high fines to ANAF. Banks might refuse to open an account for you if you don’t have a NIF, especially if you are a non-EU citizen. Also, you might not be able to avoid double taxation and you’ll end up paying more taxes on your revenue than you normally should, both in Romania and in your country of origin.
Mihai Huiala – Legal Intern
R&R Partners Bucharest
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