Step by Step: How to Obtain your RFC as a Foreigner in Mexico

The Federal Taxpayer Registry is indispensable for your procedures!

In Mexico, the experience of being a foreigner is intertwined with a series of specific procedures and requirements, especially in the financial realm. Aspects such as opening a bank account, buying a car, and the possibility of acquiring real estate with the option to receive invoices for home improvements and repairs are key considerations. This process not only ensures proper documentation but can also result in a reduction in capital gains tax when selling the property and engaging in economic activities in the country. In addition to using platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Amazon, there is an obligation to withhold a percentage of the user's income for tax purposes. In this context, a crucial requirement is obtaining the Federal Taxpayer Registry (RFC).


The RFC stands as an essential requirement that is not only a formality but also represents a crucial step for foreigners wishing to integrate effectively into the Mexican economic system. This tax identification number is vital for both individuals and legal entities conducting economic activities in Mexico. Issued by the Tax Administration Service (SAT), the RFC is essential for fulfilling tax obligations in the country. Below, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to register for the RFC, with an emphasis on the registration process for foreign individuals.


1.Cost and Filing Deadline:

The process is free, and you must submit it within the month following the start of your economic activities or when you need to register with the Federal Taxpayer Registry.


2. In-Person Submission:

  • Schedule your appointment at Citas SAT
  • Go to the SAT office with the necessary documentation.
  • Submit the complete documentation.
  • Provide the required information to the tax advisor. Both the taxpayer and their representative must answer questions related to identity and tax status during this process.
  • Receive your application and unique RFC registration acknowledgment.


3. Requirements for Foreign Individuals:

Requirements:

  • Valid immigration document. (original) FMM or Temporary/Permanent Residence.
  • A valid original proof of address, which can be:
    1. Bank statement in the name of the taxpayer, issued by financial institutions, not older than 4 months, without the need to show that it is paid.
    2. The latest property tax receipt in the name of the taxpayer or a third party, not older than 4 months, corresponding to the current year and without the need to show payment.
    3. The latest receipt for services (electricity, gas, cable TV, internet, phone, or water) in the name of the taxpayer or a third party, not older than 4 months, without the need to show that they are paid.
    4. The latest settlement from the Mexican Social Security Institute in the name of the taxpayer.
    5. Lease or sublease agreement, signed by the taxpayer or a third party, with the landlord/sublandlord registered and active in the RFC.
    6. Service provision contract, including the use of an office or workspace, with a minimum term of 6 months and accompanied by the payment receipt with fiscal requirements.
    7. Trust formalized before a Notary Public, in the name of the taxpayer.
    8. Bank account opening signed by the taxpayer, not older than 3 months.
    9. Utility service (electricity, phone, or water) in the name of the taxpayer or a third party, not older than 2 months.
    10. Letter of settlement or residence issued by State, Municipal, or similar Governments, not older than 4 months.
    11. Alignment and official number document issued by State, Municipal, or similar Governments, with a fiscal address and not older than 4 months.
    12. Official receipt or payment order issued by the state, municipal, or similar government, with a fiscal address and not older than 4 months, corresponding to the current year, without the need to show payment.

If you are unable to attend the appointment in person, you can grant a notarized Power of Attorney for acts of administration, ownership, or special acts that accredit the legal representative's personality, either by certified copy or power of attorney signed before 2 witnesses and ratified before tax authorities or a notary public.


  • Valid official identification of the taxpayer or legal representative.
  • Notarial document designating the legal representative for tax purposes.
  • Document accrediting the taxpayer's fiscal identification number in the country of residence.


If the documentation is incomplete, a pending presentation acknowledgment will be issued, with a period of 10 days for its completion. Once registered, you can manage your e-signature and password. It is essential that the documents do not have strikeouts or alterations.

The e-signature represents an essential component in the digital environment, consisting of a specific set of data and characters that uniquely identify you when carrying out online procedures, whether at the SAT, other government agencies, federative entities, municipalities, or even in the private sector. This secure and encrypted file ensures a unique digital identity and has the same legal validity as a handwritten signature, providing confidence and security when conducting various online transactions and services.


In accordance with the provisions of the federal agency, certain virtual procedures require the mandatory use of the e-signature. Among them are the Annual Tax Declaration, the change of fiscal address procedure, the issuance of electronic invoices, and the management of the professional license. Obtaining your e-signature follows a process similar to that of the RFC, with the only difference being that, during your in-person appointment, it will be necessary to have a USB drive to securely store the associated password, thus reinforcing the protection of your digital identity and the integrity of your online transactions.

By following this guide, you can complete the RFC registration process effectively and fulfill your tax responsibilities in Mexico. Make sure to have all the necessary documents and follow the detailed steps for a smooth process. If you need assistance, feel free to contact us at info@kananlawyers.com; we will be happy to answer your questions.

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