What is a UTR Number?

A UTR number is also known as a unique taxpayer reference number and is given to you by HMRC as part of the self assessment registration process.

HMRC issues a UTR number to individuals and partnerships who need to complete a self assessment tax return.

The unique taxpayer reference number is made up of 10 digits and is used by HMRC to identify your record in a similar way to a national insurance number.

Who needs a UTR number?

A UTR number is usually issued in circumstances where you need to complete a self assessment tax return.

Common reasons for needing a self assessment tax return includes:

  • Being self employed.
  • You are employed under PAYE and have employment expenses worth £2500 or more.
  • You are a company director.
  • You earn over £100,000.
  • You are a landlord.

You may require more than one UTR number depending on your circumstances. For example if your business is run as a partnership you will need an individual UTR number for you and a UTR number for the partnership.

Apply for a UTR number

A UTR number is not issued automatically so you will need to apply for a UTR by completing HMRC’s registration process.

Your UTR number application can submitted in a few different ways depending on the type of UTR number required.

HMRC has three main registration categories:

HMRC will need you to provide some or all of the following information:

  • Your full name.
  • Current address.
  • National Insurance number.
  • Date of birth.
  • Phone number.
  • Personal email address if you have one.
  • The date you started being self employed.
  • Type of business if you are self employed.
  • Business address and phone number.

How long does it take to get a UTR number?

Your unique tax reference number should be sent to you within 10 working days after you have applied. If you are based outside the UK the timescale can increase to around 21 working days.

Where do I find my UTR number?

If you already have a UTR number but can’t find it there are a number of ways to locate it including your:

  • Personal tax account.
  • Previous tax returns.
  • HMRC payment reminders.
  • HMRC notice to file a tax return.

The self assessment helpline can be called if you cannot find your UTR number. You should have your national insurance number to hand when you contact HMRC.

For lost corporation tax UTR numbers you can submit an online request and your UTR will be posted to your companies registered address.

Can I reactivate a UTR number?

If you have had a UTR number in the past and stopped submitting a self assessment tax return the UTR number becomes dormant.

The UTR number can be reactivated by HMRC which will allow you to use the same number and submit your self assessment tax return.

Self employed people will need to complete a CWF1 form to re-register for self employment.

For the non self employed you can follow the instructions in your online personal tax account to start using your old UTR number and  submitting your next self assessment tax return.


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