Everything you need to know about the tax reference number


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Whatever the nature of your exchanges with the tax authorities, the tax reference number is an essential element of your tax identity . How to recognize it? What exactly is it for? How to get it if you don’t have one yet? What if you lose it? Here’s what you need to know about the tax identification number.

What is a tax reference number  ?

The tax reference number, better known as the tax identification number (NIF), is the number assigned by the tax authorities to each taxpayer .

This allocation is made from the moment a taxpayer is required to make a tax return. You can therefore be a non-French resident, but have a NIF.

The TIN is unique, personal and confidential . It is awarded for life. It consists of 13 digits and always starts with 0, 1, 2 or 3.

France is not the only European country to use this numbering system to identify each of its taxpayers. None of them, however, has a European TIN. Each member country is indeed responsible for its tax policy.

The tax identification number is reserved for individuals . Companies do not have a NIF and are identified by a Siren number.

What is your tax identification number used for?

As its name suggests, the NIF allows the tax authorities to identify you . Thanks to this number, the tax authorities can, for example, check whether you have paid your taxes correctly or whether you owe a certain amount.

When you create your Personal Space on the www.impots.gouv.fr website , you will be asked for your NIF.

Once your Private Space has been created , for each operation carried out, whether it is a payment or a refund, the identification number must be mentioned again. The NIF must appear in each of your exchanges with the tax authorities.

Where can I find my tax reference number?

Would you like to know your TIN? Don’t know where to find it? Here are some examples of documents on which your tax reference number must be found:

  • your tax return, top left;
  • your tax notice, inside the “my references” box. Attention ! If your tax household is not made up of a single person, but of several, you will need to know whether you are declarant 1 or declarant 2;
  • your property tax;
  • your council tax;
  • each of the letters sent by the tax authorities.

How to obtain your tax reference number?

If you can’t find your reference tax number or think you never had one, here’s how to get one:

  • by email  : You already have a Private Space. In this case, when you are on the home page of the impots.gouv.fr website, you click on “Your personal space”, then on “Where to find your tax number” in the “Help” section. You will then be asked to provide your email address and date of birth. Your tax number will be emailed to you;
  • on site  : Go to your public finance centre. Once your identity has been verified, your NIF will be communicated to you;
  • by telephone  ;
  • by post  : Send your request to the address of the public finance center on which you depend.

In any case, you will need to provide the following information  :

  • your name ;
  • your date of birth;
  • your mailing address;
  • Your email address ;
  • a copy of your ID. If you call, you will then have to send this document by post or electronically.

When the tax authorities consider that they have the necessary information, they will send you your number by e-mail or by post.

Why don’t you have a tax reference number?

In some cases, it is quite normal not to have a TIN . Are in this situation:

  • minors;
  • students ;
  • people who have not yet declared their taxes.

As far as students are concerned , they can have a NIF if they are not attached to their parents’ tax household and thus declare their taxes themselves.

First declaration  : how to get his number?

If you are declaring your taxes for the first time, the tax authorities will have sent you identifiers beforehand . On this paper document, you will therefore find your tax reference number, as well as the access codes that you will need to create your private space.


Casey Harward

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