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How to Find Your UTR Number?

Updated: Jun 7

 

Understanding UTR Numbers and Their Importance

In the United Kingdom, the Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number is a critical element in the tax system. It's a 10-digit number assigned by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to individuals and entities to uniquely identify them for tax purposes. This number becomes particularly important when you need to file a Self Assessment tax return, which is mandatory for various categories of taxpayers.

 


How to Find Your UTR Number


What Does UTR Number Look Like?

A Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number in the UK is a 10-digit code used to identify individuals and companies for tax purposes. This number is issued by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and is unique to each taxpayer. It typically looks like this:


1234567890


It's important to note that while the format remains consistent (ten digits), the specific numbers will vary for each individual or entity. The UTR number is a crucial piece of information for tax filing and communication with HMRC, especially for those who need to complete a Self Assessment tax return.

 

Who Needs a UTR Number?

 

The need for a UTR number is not universal for every UK taxpayer. It's specifically required for those who must complete a Self Assessment tax return. This includes:


  1. Self-Employed Individuals and Sole Traders: If you are self-employed, running your own business, you are responsible for calculating and declaring your own taxes. A UTR number is essential for this process.

  2. Partners or Members of a Limited Company: Those who own or are partners in a registered UK company need a UTR number to file their tax returns.

  3. People with Side Hustles or Additional Untaxed Income: If you have income sources not automatically taxed, such as earnings from freelance work, renting out property, or other side hustles, you will need to register with HMRC and obtain a UTR number.

  4. Students Working in the UK: If you are a student earning an income, you are also required to pay taxes and may need a UTR number.

 

How to Obtain a UTR Number

 

Obtaining a UTR number is a straightforward process, primarily done through the HMRC website. There are three main methods:


  1. Online Registration: This is the most common method. You visit the HMRC website, fill in the necessary details and get yourself registered for Self-Assessment, and your UTR number is sent to you by post within 10 days, or contact their Online Help Desk.

  2. By Post: For those who prefer or need to register by post, this option is available but might take longer due to the postal process.

  3. By Phone: You can also apply for a UTR number over the phone through the self-assessment hotline. However, you may still be directed to complete the process online.

  • Telephone:0300 200 3310

  • Outside UK:+44 161 931 9070

  • Opening times: Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm (Closed on weekends and bank holidays.)

 

Required Information for UTR Application

When applying for a UTR number, you need to provide personal information such as your full name, current address, phone number, email address, date of birth, and National Insurance number. If you’re applying as a business or for a side hustle, additional details like business phone number, type of business, business address, and start date of self-employment will be required.

 

In this first part, we have explored the basics of UTR numbers, who needs them, and how to obtain one. This foundational understanding is crucial for anyone involved in the UK tax system, particularly for those who are self-employed, have additional untaxed income, or are involved in a partnership or limited company. In the next part, we will delve into how to find your UTR number and what to do if you lose it.

 


What Different Situations You May Have to Face If You Have Lost Your UTR

In the United Kingdom, your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number is a vital component of managing your tax affairs, especially if you are self-employed, a member of a partnership, or run a limited company. Losing this number can lead to various challenges and complications. This article explores different scenarios you might face without your UTR number and how to navigate these situations.

 

1. Difficulty in Filing Self-Assessment Tax Returns

Without your UTR number, filing your Self-Assessment tax returns becomes a significant challenge. The UTR is essential for identifying your tax records with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Without it, you cannot submit your returns online or via post, leading to potential delays and even penalties for late submission.

 

2. Complications in Paying Taxes

Paying your taxes, whether income tax, capital gains tax, or corporation tax, requires your UTR number for proper allocation of your payments. Losing this number can cause payments to be incorrectly processed, leading to confusion and potential issues with your tax account.

 

3. Problems with Tax Refunds or Adjustments

If you're due a tax refund or need to make adjustments to previous tax returns, your UTR number is crucial. Without it, HMRC might not be able to process your refund or adjustments accurately, which could delay receiving any amounts owed to you.

 

4. Hurdles in Communicating with HMRC

Communicating with HMRC about any aspect of your taxes typically requires your UTR number. Without it, verifying your identity and discussing your tax affairs can be more complex and time-consuming.

 

5. Challenges in Accessing Financial Services

Many financial services, such as applying for loans or mortgages, especially for self-employed individuals, require proof of earnings through tax returns. Your UTR number is needed to access these records, and without it, you may face delays or difficulties in securing financial products.

 

6. Impact on Business Operations

For business owners, a lost UTR number can impede various operations. It's necessary for completing corporation tax returns, VAT returns, and dealing with payroll taxes under the PAYE system. The absence of a UTR number can disrupt these processes and affect your business's compliance with tax regulations.

 

7. Delays in Setting Up Payment Plans

If you owe taxes and need to set up a payment plan with HMRC, your UTR number is required. Without it, there might be delays in arranging a suitable payment plan, potentially leading to increased interest or penalties.

 

8. Issues with Tax Advisors or Accountants

Working with tax advisors or accountants is streamlined when you have your UTR number readily available. Losing this number can make it more challenging for them to assist you efficiently, potentially leading to delays in managing your tax affairs.

 

9. Problems with Legal and Business Transactions

Certain legal and business transactions require tax information, including your UTR number. For instance, if you're selling a business or part of a business, your UTR number is necessary for the process.

 

10. Difficulties in Claiming Expenses and Reliefs

Claiming for various tax reliefs and expenses, especially if you are self-employed or run a business, requires your tax records, accessed using your UTR number. Not having this number might complicate the process of claiming these reliefs.

 

Losing your UTR number can lead to a range of challenging situations, affecting everything from tax filing to business operations. It's crucial to keep your UTR number secure and accessible. However, if you do lose it, contact HMRC as soon as possible to retrieve it. The process might take some time, but regaining your UTR number is essential for maintaining smooth tax affairs and avoiding potential complications in the UK tax system.


Locating and Recovering Your Lost UTR Number

 

Locating Your UTR Number


If you are already registered with HMRC and have been assigned a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number but cannot locate it, there are several places where you can find it:


  1. HMRC Correspondence: Your UTR number is often mentioned in communications from HMRC, especially in letters or forms related to self-assessment.

  2. Tax Returns: Any previously filed tax returns will have your UTR number.

  3. Payment Reminders: HMRC payment reminders or notices often include your UTR number for identification purposes.

  4. Notices to File Tax Returns: Official notices to file tax returns from HMRC will clearly state your UTR number.

  5. Statements of Account: Look for your UTR number on statements of account or other official tax-related documentation from HMRC.

  6. Personal Tax Account: Log in to your personal tax account on the government gateway to find your UTR number in the "Self-Assessment" section.

  7. HMRC App: The HMRC app, available on iOS and Android, also displays your UTR number.

 


How to Find Your UTR Number On Self-Assessment

Recovering a Lost UTR Number


Losing your UTR number can be a concern, but HMRC has put in place a process to help you recover it:

  1. Contact HMRC: The first step is to contact HMRC, either through their website or helpline. Be prepared to provide personal information for identity verification.

  2. Verify Your Identity: HMRC will ask for personal details, past tax information, and other relevant data to verify your identity.

  3. Retrieving Your UTR Number: Once your identity is confirmed, HMRC will guide you through retrieving your UTR number, which might involve sending it to your registered address or providing it over the phone.

  4. Safeguard Your UTR Number: To prevent future loss, keep your UTR number in a secure location and be cautious of phishing attempts or scams.

 


How to find Company's UTR number

For Limited Companies:

If you are a limited company and have lost your UTR number, you will need to request your Corporation Tax UTR using the online form available on HMRC's website, or look at the welcome / confirmation letter from HMRC.

 


How to Find Your UTR Number

Additional Ways to Find Your UTR Number


In addition to the seven methods mentioned in Part 2, here are eight more ways to locate your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number:


  1. Welcome Letter from HMRC: When you first register for Self Assessment or set up a limited company, HMRC sends a 'Welcome to Self-Assessment' letter (SA250) that includes your UTR number.

  2. Online Self-Assessment Account: If you have registered for online services with HMRC, your UTR number will be visible in your Self-Assessment account, typically found at the top right corner of your account summary.

  3. Confirmation Statement for Companies: For limited companies, the UTR number can be found on the Confirmation Statement (previously known as the Annual Return) filed with Companies House.

  4. CT603 Notice for Corporation Tax: Limited companies receive a CT603 notice from HMRC for Corporation Tax, which includes the company's UTR number.

  5. Self-Employment Registration Letter: If you registered as self-employed, HMRC would have sent a letter confirming your registration, which includes your UTR number.

  6. Accountant or Tax Advisor: If you have an accountant or tax advisor, they will have access to your UTR number as part of managing your tax affairs.

  7. Previous Communication with HMRC: Any previous correspondence with HMRC, such as queries or requests for information, might have included your UTR number.

  8. SA100 Tax Return Form: If you have previously completed a tax return, your UTR number will be on the SA100 form.

  9. HMRC's Self Assessment Reminder Letters: HMRC often sends reminder letters for filing Self Assessment tax returns. These letters usually include your UTR number.

  10. Previous Year’s Payment on Account: If you have made a payment on account to HMRC, the reference details of this transaction typically include your UTR number.

  11. Bank Statements Showing Tax Payments: If you have paid your tax bill through a bank transfer, your UTR number may be listed as the reference number on the bank statement.

  12. Documentation from an Inherited Business: If you've inherited a business, the UTR number should be on any inherited tax documents or correspondence with HMRC related to the business.

  13. P60 or P45 Forms: While not directly displaying your UTR number, these forms can be used as reference when contacting HMRC to retrieve your UTR number, as they contain other relevant tax details.

  14. Ask a Previous Employer: If you were involved in a business or partnership, your previous employer or business partner might have records of your UTR number.

  15. Legal or Financial Documents: If you have used legal or financial services for business purposes, these documents might contain your UTR number, especially if they relate to tax or accounting matters.


These additional methods further expand the avenues through which you can locate your UTR number, ensuring that you have multiple resources at your disposal to retrieve this crucial information for managing your tax obligations in the UK.

 

Preventive Measures:

 

  1. Record Keeping: Maintain a secure record of your UTR number.

  2. Avoid Sharing Unnecessarily: Share your UTR number only when required and with trusted entities.

  3. Be Alert for Scams: Be vigilant against unauthorized attempts to access your UTR number.


Finding or recovering your UTR number is a crucial step in managing your tax affairs efficiently. Whether it's through checking previous documents, using online resources, or contacting HMRC directly, ensure that you have your UTR number handy for all tax-related activities.

 

Comprehensive Understanding and Management of Your UTR Number

 

Permanence of UTR Numbers

Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) numbers are permanent. Once HMRC assigns a UTR number to an individual or business, it remains unchanged for the entity's lifetime. This permanence ensures a consistent and uninterrupted identification for tax purposes.


Changing UTR Numbers

Generally, UTR numbers do not change. However, there are exceptional circumstances, such as cases of identity theft, where HMRC might issue a new UTR number to safeguard an individual’s or a company’s tax identity.

 

Suspected Unauthorized Use of UTR Numbers


If you suspect unauthorized use of your UTR number, it is crucial to act promptly:


  1. Contact HMRC Immediately: Inform HMRC as soon as you suspect fraudulent activity involving your UTR number.

  2. Monitor Your Tax Records: Regularly review your tax statements and records for any unusual or unauthorized activity.

  3. Follow HMRC Guidance: HMRC will provide specific advice and steps to secure your tax identity and mitigate any potential risks.

 

Additional Considerations for UTR Numbers


  1. Record Keeping: Maintain a secure and accessible record of your UTR number. This will help in efficient tax management and in quickly resolving any discrepancies.

  2. Confidentiality: Treat your UTR number as confidential information. Share it only with trusted individuals and entities, like your accountant or when legally required.

  3. Regular Updates with HMRC: Keep your contact and business details up to date with HMRC. This ensures that you receive all relevant communications regarding your UTR and tax obligations.

 

Using UTR Numbers for Business Activities


For businesses, the UTR number is essential for various activities:

  1. Filing Tax Returns: The UTR number is required for filing both individual and company tax returns.

  2. Correspondence with HMRC: Use your UTR number in all communications with HMRC for efficient handling of your queries or concerns.

  3. Applying for Loans or Grants: Some financial institutions may require your UTR number when applying for business loans or grants.


Your UTR number is a vital component of your tax identity in the UK. Understanding its importance, ensuring its security, and managing it effectively are key to maintaining compliance with HMRC regulations. Whether you are an individual taxpayer, self-employed, or running a business, keeping your UTR number secure and using it responsibly will aid in a smoother and more efficient tax management process.

 

2024 Updates on UTR Numbers



  • As of May 2024, HMRC now sends UTR numbers via secure digital notifications to the taxpayer’s personal tax account, reducing reliance on postal delivery and expediting the process.


  • Taxpayers can now access their UTR numbers directly through their Government Gateway account dashboard, providing easier and quicker access to their tax reference information.


  • HMRC has implemented enhanced security measures, including two-factor authentication (2FA), for accessing UTR numbers online to prevent unauthorized access and identity theft.


  • The article mentions contact numbers for obtaining UTR numbers. As of 2024, HMRC encourages using the online chat feature and secure messaging within the HMRC app for faster resolution and queries related to UTR numbers.


  • New businesses registering for self-assessment now receive their UTR numbers immediately upon successful registration online, streamlining the process and eliminating delays.


  • A new automated phone service allows taxpayers to retrieve their UTR numbers by confirming their identity through a series of security questions, reducing wait times for assistance.


  • Authorized accountants can now access their clients’ UTR numbers through a dedicated HMRC portal, simplifying the management of multiple clients’ tax affairs.


  • As of May 2024, it is clarified that UTR numbers are not required for taxpayers only filing simple PAYE returns unless they have additional self-assessment obligations.


  • HMRC has updated the self-assessment registration forms to be more user-friendly and to include prompts for digital correspondence preferences to facilitate the UTR issuance process.


  • Specific guidelines have been introduced for digital nomads and remote workers on obtaining UTR numbers if they are tax residents in the UK, addressing the growing trend of remote work.


  • Taxpayers who have misplaced their UTR numbers can now request a recovery notification, which will be sent to their registered email address, adding an additional layer of convenience.


  • UTR numbers are now integrated with other government services, such as Universal Credit and State Pension applications, to streamline verification processes and improve service delivery.


  • Starting in 2024, HMRC mandates that all taxpayers maintaining UTR numbers must use approved digital record-keeping software, facilitating better compliance and easier tax return submissions.


  • Penalties for failing to register for a UTR number when required have increased, emphasizing the importance of compliance and timely registration for self-assessment.


  • HMRC now provides multilingual support for obtaining and managing UTR numbers, catering to the diverse population and ensuring accessibility for non-English speakers.


  • Taxpayers engaged in cryptocurrency transactions are required to obtain UTR numbers and report earnings through self-assessment, reflecting the regulatory changes in digital currencies.


  • Procedures for deactivating UTR numbers for those permanently leaving the UK or ceasing all taxable activities have been streamlined to prevent unnecessary correspondence.


  • New guidelines assist individuals with cross-border taxation issues in obtaining and managing their UTR numbers, reflecting the global nature of employment and business.


  • Startups can now receive temporary UTR numbers to begin trading while their full registration is processed, allowing for immediate compliance and business operations.


  • Specific guidelines have been introduced for gig economy workers, detailing how to obtain UTR numbers and manage self-assessment obligations given their unique income structures.


How Can a Tax Accountant Help You with Your UTR


How Can a Tax Accountant Help You with Your UTR?

In the complex landscape of UK taxation, navigating the intricacies of Unique Taxpayer References (UTR) can be daunting for many individuals and businesses. This is where a tax accountant plays a pivotal role. A tax accountant is not only an expert in tax law and HMRC regulations but also a guide and strategist who can assist you effectively with your UTR. Here's how:

 

1. Understanding the Importance of UTRs

A tax accountant helps you understand the significance of your UTR in the UK tax system. They explain its necessity for self-employed individuals, business owners, and anyone required to file a Self Assessment tax return. This foundational knowledge is crucial for tax compliance and planning.

 

2. Assisting in Obtaining a UTR

If you are new to the tax system or have started a new venture, a tax accountant can guide you through the process of obtaining a UTR. They ensure you meet the HMRC criteria and assist in filling out the necessary forms, either online or by post.

 

3. Locating Your UTR

In cases where you have misplaced or forgotten your UTR, a tax accountant can assist in retrieving it. They are adept at navigating HMRC’s systems and can quickly find your UTR number through the various channels available, saving you time and stress.

 

4. Integrating UTR in Tax Planning

Tax accountants use your UTR to organize and plan your tax affairs. By having your UTR at hand, they ensure that all your tax documents are correctly filed under your unique tax identity. This is especially important for self-employed individuals and business owners who need to keep their tax records in order for annual tax returns.

 

5. Handling UTR-Related Queries with HMRC

A tax accountant acts as a mediator between you and HMRC. They can handle any queries or issues related to your UTR, ensuring that any discrepancies or misunderstandings are swiftly resolved. This includes contacting HMRC on your behalf if your UTR number is lost or if there are errors in your tax records.

 

6. Advising on Changes in Circumstances

If your circumstances change, such as starting a new business or changing your employment status, a tax accountant can advise on how this affects your UTR and tax obligations. They ensure that your UTR is updated with HMRC where necessary and that you understand the implications of these changes.

 

7. Preventing and Addressing Compliance Issues

Tax accountants play a crucial role in preventing compliance issues. They ensure that your UTR is correctly used in all your tax dealings, thus avoiding potential problems with HMRC. If there are any compliance issues, they provide expert advice on how to address them effectively.

 

8. Maximizing Tax Efficiency

With an in-depth understanding of tax laws, a tax accountant can help you use your UTR to maximize tax efficiency. This includes advising on tax relief, deductions, and allowances that you can claim. They ensure that your tax responsibilities are met while optimizing your financial benefits.

 

9. Educating on the Role of UTR in Business Transactions

For business owners, a tax accountant can explain the role of the UTR in various transactions, including invoicing, contracting, and applying for loans or grants. They ensure that your business uses the UTR correctly in all its financial activities.

 

10. Long-Term Tax Strategy and Planning

A tax accountant doesn’t just focus on immediate tax filing needs; they also help in long-term tax planning using your UTR. This includes strategies for future tax years, anticipating changes in tax laws, and planning for major financial decisions that might impact your tax situation.

 


20 Most Important FAQs about "How to Find Your UTR Number

 

Q1: Can I find my UTR number online if I haven't registered for HMRC's online services?

A: No, if you haven't registered for HMRC’s online services, you cannot find your UTR number online. You would need to register first or use alternative methods such as checking past tax documents.


Q2: Is there a deadline for finding my UTR number?

A: No specific deadline exists for finding your UTR number, but having it readily available is important for tax-related activities like filing returns or corresponding with HMRC.


Q3: Can I find my UTR number on the HMRC website without logging in?

A: No, you cannot find your UTR number on the HMRC website without logging into your personal or business tax account.


Q4: Do I need my UTR number for registering for VAT?

A: While a UTR number is not specifically required for VAT registration, it is essential for broader tax purposes and may be requested for verification.


Q5: Can I use my National Insurance Number to find my UTR number?

A: No, your National Insurance Number cannot be used to find your UTR number. They serve different purposes and are not interchangeable.


Q6: Will HMRC ever email me my UTR number?

A: No, for security reasons, HMRC does not email UTR numbers. It is usually sent by post or accessible through secure HMRC online services.


Q7: Can I find my UTR number on my payslip?

A: No, your UTR number will not be on your payslip. Payslips generally contain payroll and National Insurance information.


Q8: Does every UK taxpayer have a UTR number?

A: Not every UK taxpayer has a UTR number. It's specifically assigned to individuals who need to complete a Self Assessment tax return, such as self-employed individuals, partners in a business, and others with complex tax situations.


Q9: Can I find my UTR number on bank loan documents?

A: No, UTR numbers are not typically included on bank loan documents. They are specific to tax documents and correspondence with HMRC.


Q10: Is a UTR number required for students working part-time?

A: Students working part-time may need a UTR number if they have to file a Self Assessment tax return, such as in cases of self-employment or other untaxed income.


Q11: Can I find my UTR number at my local HMRC office?

A: You cannot physically find your UTR number at an HMRC office, but staff there can guide you on how to retrieve it through official channels.


Q12: Do I need my UTR number for an IR35 assessment?

A: While an IR35 assessment focuses on employment status, having your UTR number readily available is useful as it's a key part of your tax records.


Q13: Can I retrieve my UTR number from previous employment contracts?

A: UTR numbers are not typically found on employment contracts. They are more relevant for self-assessment and freelance or contract work.


Q14: Is the UTR number different from a Company Registration Number?

A: Yes, a UTR number is different from a Company Registration Number. The former is for tax purposes, while the latter is for company identification with Companies House.


Q15: Will my UTR number change if I move to a different area in the UK?

A: No, your UTR number remains the same regardless of your location within the UK.


Q16: Can family members access my UTR number on my behalf?

A: Family members cannot access your UTR number unless they have legal authority or your explicit consent, due to privacy and security reasons.


Q17: How long does it take to retrieve a UTR number if lost?

A: Retrieving a lost UTR number can take around 10 to 15 days, as HMRC typically sends it by post for security reasons.


Q18: Do I need a UTR number for a one-off freelance job?

A: If you have a one-off freelance job and need to file a Self Assessment tax return, you would need a UTR number.

 


 

 

 

 

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