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TIN – Tax Identification Number – Required when opening a bank account in Spain

Opening a bank account in Spain requires of special procedures.

A few years ago, opening a bank account in Spain was relatively simple. Bank accounts could be opened from abroad without the presence of customers in Spain. Lawyers, through power of attorney, were also authorized to open bank accounts in Spain being no necessary the presence of our clients at the bank office.

However, recent normative related to money laundering has reinforced the controls and requirements required by banks to open a bank account in Spain.

Therefore, it is no longer possible to open bank accounts from abroad, or, if the case, this is possible just with complicated procedures for the legalization of personal documents, passports, with notaries, and legalized by means of the apostille, are required. This complicates the process when opening a bank account from abroad.

In the same way, when a customer comes to Spain, Spanish banks usually require certain information and procedures that change day by day.

Lately, we have been witnessing a new requirement from the Spanish banks, which is the TIN number.


WHAT IS THE TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (TIN)?

TIN is a taxpayer identification number. It is used by the administrations of the different countries to assign a number to the citizen that allows perfect identification for tax purposes.

Many times, this number can be the same National Insurance Number (NINO in UK), or the number that appears on the tax returns of taxpayers in their countries of origin (UTR).

For a long time, as we say, Spanish banks are requiring the physical presence of customers in the bank to make a recognition of personal identity, as well as a signature recognition.

Bank will also require the client to obtain the NIE either in one of the consulates of Spain abroad, or in some of the national police offices in Spain.

But, in addition, the TIN, this number, is required in Spain to open a bank account.

In countries that issue identity cards other than the passport such as Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, etc., the TIN corresponds to the number of the personal identity card. Therefore, providing the identity card of the nationals of these countries is sufficient for the banks since, in said document, the TIN is included.

However, in other countries that do not have a system for identifying their nationals by means of an identity card, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, etc., this number can be found on the Social Security card, as well as in the tax returns for example the P-60.


For example, UK does not issue TIN in s strict sense. This TIN is then:

  • The Unic Tax Payer Reference (UTR). This is the 10 numbers assigned by the HMRC to submit tax returns.
  • The National Insurance Number (NINO). This consists in 2 letters, 6 numbers and a suffix or letter (AB123456C).

Therefore, it is very important that, when you make the decision to buy a home in Spain, the first thing you have to do is obtain the opening of a bank account in Spain, and for that, you will need to provide your TIN number to your bank in Spain.

It is important to differentiate between the TIN and the NIE. The TIN, As we say, TIN is an identification number obtained by the buyer on his country of origin.

The NIE is a document obtained in Spain and provided by the Spanish administration, regardless of whether the client already has a TIN.

Therefore, to open a bank account in Spain you need the following:

  • Physical presence of the client in the bank branch.
  • Provide the original of the personal identification document, such as identity card, or original passport.
  • Provide the TIN
  • Obtain the NIE

For any information regarding this number, we recommend you contact your bank to inform us if it is necessary to provide it.


So, we recommend to all our clients, when the decision of buying is confirmed, to come to a Spanish bank to open a bank account while visiting Spain on property inspection.

Articles related:

Why open a bank account in Spain? 

Process to buy a house in Spain

Tutorial steps to follow when buying a house in Spain

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