What Is A Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) Number?

A UTR number, also referred to as a tax reference number, is a ten-digit number issued by HMRC to identify individual taxpayers within their system. This number is issued to individuals, companies, partnerships, trusts and other types of organizations. When you register with HMRC, they will usually issue you a UTR number automatically. It is normally found on self-assessment forms such as a statement or tax returns. Both the tax reference number and tax code, are generally written on a PAYE employee form like a P45, P60, a payslip or PAYE coding notice from HMRC. Your UTR number stays with you all your life like a national insurance number.

How To Get A UTR Number?

There are different ways in which you can get a UTR number, such as by phone, online, or by post. It is normally issued automatically by HMRC in the following situations:

  • When you register as a self-employed sole trader
  • When you register as a partnership firm
  • When you register as a new limited company
  • If you are working in the construction industry & need to complete a CIS tax return
  • If you notified HMRC regarding the trust liable to income tax
  • If you are an individual and have made HMRC aware of other untaxed receipts such as rental receipts

How To Apply For A UTR Number Online?

After starting a business, you must register for self-assessment with HMRC and a UTR number will be assigned to you automatically. You can apply for your UTR number online by following these steps:

  • You can notify HMRC online or you can fill in the form to be printed and posted to HMRC. You should notify HMRC as early as possible, as they expect you to register yourself for a UTR number within 3 months of conceiving your businesses.
  • After registering with HMRC for self-assessment, they will send you an activation code, which can take up to 10 working days to reach you.
  • When you login to your online tax account for the first time, you will be asked to enter the activation code sent by HMRC. You must activate your registration with HMRC online within 28 days of receiving the activation code. If you fail to do so, you will have to submit another form & follow the same procedure from the start.
  • Make sure to save your user-ID, password and UTR number (case-sensitive).

Note - if you enter the wrong user-ID or password more than two times, your account will be locked for 2 hours.

How Do I Apply For My UTR Number By Phone?

You can apply for your UTR number by calling HMRC directly on 0300 200 3310. During the call, HMRC may ask you about your personal details as well as your national insurance number to validate your identity. HMRC will post your UTR number within 7 days. They could direct you towards applying for your UTR number online.

How To Apply For My UTR Number By Post?

Firstly, you must write a letter to HMRC to issue a UTR number. Applying for your UTR number by post is a time-consuming process and is not a perfect option for the individuals who must file their tax quickly. It could take several weeks to come.

When Should I Register For A UTR Number?

Make sure you register with HMRC before 20th December as it can take up to 6 weeks to receive your UTR. If a taxpayer attempts to submit a self-assessment tax return without a valid UTR number, HMRC will reject the filed return and it may lead to fines & penalties up to £1600.

How Do I Find A Lost UTR Number?

You can find your unique tax reference number in the following ways:

  • The simplest way to find your UTR number is by logging into your government gateway account and you will find the same in the self-assessment section, on the top right corner of your online account summary.
  • You can request your UTR number on the phone by calling HMRC on 03002003310
  • HMRC tax returns
  • Statement of accounts
  • Payment reminders by HMRC
  • Your SA250, which is a letter issued by HMRC to the taxpayer when he or she first registered for self-assessment

Where To Find Your UTR Number?

You can find your UTR number in 3 different places -

  • On your HMRC form number SA100 which is deposited for self-assessment tax return
  • On your HMRC form number SA316 which is deposited for self-assessment notice to file letter
  • On your statement of accounts

What If You Cannot Find Your UTR Number?

If you are not able to find any documents from HMRC, you can call the self-assessment helpline and request your UTR number. If you have a limited company, you must request your corporation tax UTR number online. HMRC will send the information to the registered business address.

How Do I Close My UTR Number?

You don't need to worry about closing a UTR number as this number is given by HMRC for your lifetime unless you are declared as bankrupt.

In any case, you need to complete the form to confirm you are ceasing this business forever & send this to HMRC. If it involves filing a tax return, you may be entitled to a tax refund, when the tax return has been processed. If you ever decide to return to self-employment again, your UTR number will be the same as before.

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