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PESEL or NIP: what is the difference?

27th Oct 2022

If you want to receive your refund, you need to file a tax declaration. We have several articles on our blog about taxes in Poland, so now we will try to figure out what PESEL and NIP are, what are the differences and why do you need them.


PESEL is an abbreviation for ‘Powszechny Elektroniczny System Ewidencji Ludności’. This is a personal identification number used in Poland since 1979. Its formula is YYMMDDZZZXQ, where YYMMDD is the date of birth, ZZZX is a specific identification number, X is sex (even numbers - female, odd numbers - male) and Q is a check digit.

All the temporary residents who have lived in Poland for more than 2 months, must receive a PESEL. It can not be changed (except for specific cases), it is individual and unique so no one can use the same number.

You can send a request by yourself, this service is free of charge.


NIP (Numer identyfikacji podatkowej) - tax identification number, consists of 10 digits, where the first three digits are codes provided by the tax office, and the last number is a control one.

  • You can get a NIP if you are:
  • Self employed,
  • Legal entity,
  • Employees who are VAT payers,
  • A person, who worked in Poland, but didn’t receive PESEL.

If you have a NIP and want to make any changes in your personal info (address, bank account, etc.), you will need to file a NIP-7 form. NIP is used only for communication with tax authorities.

TIP: Missing NIP? We can help you with this issue. Contact us for more information.

Why do I need those numbers?

The main aim of PESEL and NIP is to identify you in different official governments (mainly for tax purposes). You can not file a tax return without entering one of them.

PESEL is also used for identification in other public spheres, like obtaining medical insurance, opening a bank account and so on.

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact our tax advisor!

I want to file a tax return