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.