In Spain, as in any other country, many abbreviations are used.

Arintass has summarised and compared the most important ones for you.


The CIF (Código de Identificación Fiscal) does no longer exist. The CIF was used for the tax identification of Spanish companies. Legal entities, companies and also foundations used this code. Since 2008 this designation was abolished and turned into the NIF.


The NIF (Número de Identificación Fiscal) is the tax number for natural and legal persons in Spain. According to the 2008 legal reform published in Royal Decree 1065/2007 of 27 July, it applies not only to natural persons carrying out commercial activities but also to legal entities.

The NIF consists of nine characters: a letter indicating the legal form and nationality of the company, two numbers for provincial, five random numbers and a control character.

The following letter stands for the following indication

A. Public limited liability companies
B. Limited liability companies
C. Affiliates
D. Limited partnerships
E. Communities of property, dormant goods and other entities without legal personality not expressly mentioned in other keys
F. Cooperatives
G. Associations
H. Communities of owners under the horizontal property regime
J. Civil societies
P. Local companies
Q. Public institutions
R. Religious Congregations and Institutions
S. Bodies of the State Administration and the Autonomous Communities
U. Temporary Joint Ventures
V. Other types that are not defined in the other keys
N. Foreign entities
W. Permanent establishments of entities not established in Spain.

The Spanish State Tax Administration Agency (Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria) is responsible for assigning tax identification numbers to legal persons and organisations. If this is not requested, the tax administration can have them entered in the list of taxpayers and assign them the appropriate tax identification number.

Taxpayers are obliged to state their tax identification number in all tax returns, or documents with tax implications or transactions, and must notify other taxpayers in accordance with tax regulations.

The assigned NIF can be accredited by the tax administration, its authenticity can be verified on the tax administration’s website.


The so-called NIF-IVA is the value added tax identification number and is required to carry out certain intra-Community transactions.

The NIF-IVA consists of the country prefix according to the international standard code ISO-3166 alpha 2 (e.g. ES, DE, etc.) and the tax identification number (NIF).

NIF-IVA can be applied for using Form 036 and involves registration in the Register of Intra-Community Operations (ROI).

NIF-IVA can be viewed and checked in the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES).

Our experts in the administrative department will be pleased to obtain any identification numbers you may require and will be at your disposal for any queries you may have.

Juliane Köhler

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