What is and how to apply for Mexico’s RFC?

Here are some commonly asked questions along with their respective answers regarding Mexico's RFC (Registro Federal de Contibuyentes) and the related CURP (Clave Única de Registro de Población).


What does RFC mean in Mexico?

RFC stands for Registro Federal de Contibuyentes, a distinctive identification number provided by Mexico's tax authority, SAT.


What is 'SAT' in Mexico?

SAT refers to Servicio de Administracion Tributaria, Mexico's tax authority, comparable to the IRS in the United States. Similar to the IRS, SAT has branches across every state in the country.


What are the different types of RFC? There are primarily two categories of RFC:

  • One for individuals (Persona Física) akin to the US Social Security number.
  • One for registered entities (Persona Moral) similar to a corporate tax identification number.


Who is eligible to apply for an RFC?

Mexican citizens and legal foreign residents holding residency permits can apply for an RFC. However, visitors and tourists are ineligible.


Is CURP equivalent to RFC?

No, CURP (Clave Única de Registro de Población) is distinct from RFC. While legal residents automatically receive a CURP upon obtaining residency in Mexico, acquiring an RFC requires a separate application process. Although typically printed on residency cards, CURP may not always be displayed. You can retrieve your CURP via an official website:  https://www.gob.mx/curp/


What is the purpose of RFC?

RFC facilitates monitoring of business transactions, payments, and expenses for tax reporting purposes. Employers use it to report income tax deductions from employees' salaries, while businesses and self-employed individuals use it for income and expense reporting. Individuals may also utilize RFC to claim specific tax refunds, such as certain medical expenses. Many businesses and self-employed individuals engage local accountants for RFC-related reporting, while individuals seeking tax rebates may also enlist accountants' assistance.


What is a Factura, and how does it relate to RFC?

A Factura serves as an official tax invoice linked to the seller's and buyer's RFC. To claim an expense for income tax deduction, an official Factura must be obtained during purchase, as a simple receipt is insufficient. When requesting a Factura, the seller will require your RFC (or business RFC). Facturas are electronically requested and issued via SAT's online platform. Expenses lacking a Factura are ineligible for tax credits.


How can I apply for an RFC in Mexico?

Applicants must visit their local SAT office in person for RFC registration. SAT only accepts applications through prior appointments, which can be requested online. In regions where appointments are unavailable, individuals can join a waiting list, receiving email notifications when appointments become accessible. Obtaining an appointment may take several weeks or months. During the registration process, applicants must bring a printed CURP (obtainable online), residency card (temporary or permanent), and official identification, preferably a passport. Employing a local accountant for assistance is advisable, as dealing with tax matters in Mexico can be intricate.

How to Apply for the RFC:


1. Visit https://citas.sat.gob.mx/datosPersonales 

2. Select: Inscripción al padrón de contribuyentes Personas Físicas

3. Enter your CURP number; full name (nombre completo – as per your resident’s card); your email (correo electronico); confirm your email (confirmar correo electrónico), and press SIGUIENTE

4. On the following page, you will see a few drop-down menus. On the first one (SERVICIOS), select Inscripción en el RFC de Personas Físicas.

5. Under Distrito Federativo, select your state of residency (Baja California Sur).

6. Under Modulo, select your local SAT office, the name of the closest town. 

7. You will then receive a notification that you cannot attend the office in person but must join a Fila Virtual (virtual queue).

8. Click on Fila Virtual to confirm.

9. A box appears with Token Seguridad. This token is sent to your email. Retrieve it and insert into the box and click REENVIAR.

10. A screen appears with confirmation of your insertion into the Fila Virtual. You should receive an email when available slots open.


In the meantime, you should consult your position in the queue often by logging into the same site and selecting CONSULTAR CITA. Also keep an eye on your email for news of the appointment.


What are the consequences of not having an RFC?

Without an RFC, individuals are unable to claim capital gains tax exemptions on property sales, banks require RFC for opening accounts in Mexico, and car dealerships mandate RFC for vehicle purchases.


What role does RFC play in owning a home in Mexico?

Owning a home in Mexico necessitates an RFC for claiming capital gains tax deductions upon sale.

Navigating tax and business affairs in Mexico Given the complexity of tax laws, it's recommended to engage a local accountant for assistance with Mexican tax matters. While not obligatory, utilizing an accountant offers advantages such as expertise in current regulations and guidance on income and expense organization, along with easing reporting obligations and form submissions.


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