There are two types of numbers commonly referred to as a “RUT” in Chile. A temporary "RUT" or "rol único tributario" for foreigners is only a tax payer ID number. Another type of “RUT” (sometimes called RUN) is for Chilean citizens and Chilean Residents. The permanent RUT for citizens and residents is a national ID number, similar to a Social Security Number, and is used for passports, tax issues, Identification, and many other things. Companies are also issued “RUT” numbers for tax purposes.
You do not need to be a resident of Chile to obtain a temporary RUT number. A RUT number is required to make any major purchase in Chile, with tax consequences, and is issued by the Internal Revenue Service of Chile (Servicio de impuestos internos or simply SII in Spanish).

A temporary RUT numbers does not entitle you to residency in Chile or citizenship in Chile. To obtain a permanent RUT number you must apply for Residency. Most Chileans, and even many attorneys in Chile, are not aware there is such a thing as a temporary RUT number for foreigners in Chile.

In 2015, the government of Chile has imposed a new requirement on foreigners obtaining a temporary RUT numbers. Prior to 2015, it was possible for foreigners to simply obtain a RUT number with their passport at any IRS office in Chile by filling out a form. Now, foreigners are required to have either a resident or citizen of Chile with a permanent address in the country, to act as your “legal representative” for the purposes of obtaining official notification or correspondence from the Chilean Tax authority before they will issue a temporary RUT number for foreigners in Chile.

Spencer Global can obtain RUT numbers for clients through a special limited power of attorney, when foreigners are either outside of Chile or inside of Chile.

In addition for drafting and arranging for you to sign the limited power of attorney, applying for the RUT number with the SII, we include in our service acting as the “legal representative” or point of contact for official notifications from the SII office in Chile to fulfill this new requirement for foreigners in chile.

In most cases foreigners only need a temporary RUT number when they plan to do such things as purchase real estate, vehicles, incorporate, or engage in transferring other major assets that require the payment of taxes in Chile.

To learn more about obtaining a Permanent RUT number, please see our Chile Immigration and Visa section.