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What is a Unique Tax Reference (UTR) Number
What is a Unique Tax Reference (UTR) Number

And where to find it!

Steven Anderson avatar
Written by Steven Anderson
Updated over a week ago

A Unique Taxpayer Reference (or UTR) number is a ten-digit code that's unique to you or your company.

It is used to identify you or your business personally with HMRC for anything and everything that has to do with your tax obligations. Your UTR number will remain the same throughout your entire life, just like your National Insurance Number.

HMRC uses your UTR number to keep tabs on your tax obligations.

It provides them with an easy way to match records to payments and monitor for suspicious activity. You'll need your UTR number to complete self-assessment tax returns, work with accountants, and pre-pay taxes in instalments.

Company vs. Personal

Personal UTRs are issued by HMRC to people who register for self-assessment.

You'll be assigned a separate UTR for your company after it's incorporated (if applicable)

Why do you need a UTR Number

You might not actually need one at all.

The only people who need UTR numbers are those who file Self-Assessment tax returns - that means that they've either set up a limited company or they're self-employed.

If you do file self-assessment tax returns, you need a UTR number so that:

1. HMRC can monitor your tax due and obligations

HMRC will use this reference to track your tax obligations, which could help you also get a tax refund if you've overpaid your tax.

2. You can file tax returns

You'll need it for your self assessment tax return if you're self-employed, and your company UTR is used to calculate your company tax.

3. You can partner with accountants

Accountants and financial professionals need to know your UTR to help with your filings and financial affairs.

Where to find your UTR number:

You can find your UTR number in various ways, provided you've already got one.

It should be easy to identify thanks to its length; your UTR can be located on any documents from HMRC, including:

1. Previous tax returns

2. Payment reminders

3. Notices to file tax returns

4. Statements of account

5. The "Welcome to self-assessment" letter (SA250)

Your UTR number can also be found online in your Government Gateway account. It's located in the top right-hand corner of your account summary.

How to Register & Get a UTR Number:

When you launch a limited company or get set up for self-assessment tax returns, you automatically undergo the UTR registration process.

You'll automatically receive a UTR number after the process is complete. Keep in mind that it can take some time to receive your number - it's best to apply a few months before you'll need your UTR number to ensure things go smoothly.

To register for your UTR number, you'll need to provide:

  • Your full name

  • Your current address

  • Your National Insurance Number

  • Your date of birth

  • Your phone number

  • Your email address

  • The date that your self-employment began

  • The type of business you're starting

  • The address of your business

  • The phone number for your business

Applying for your UTR number is free and - provided you've got all of the necessary information on hand - easy. You can notify HMRC online or print and fill out a form before posting it to them.

Finding a lost UTR number

If you've lost their UTR numbers should act quickly to rectify the situation. You can find steps on how to find lost UTR numbers here.

Try to have your National Insurance number at the ready and then ring HMRC's self-assessment helpline at 0300 200 3310.

For any general enquiries, you can reach out to HMRC Helpline numbers during their working days.

Telephone: 0300 200 3310

Outside UK: +44 161 931 9070

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