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A Guide to Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) numbers

Finding Your UTR Number

If you're on the hunt for your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number, it's a key identifier HMRC uses for your tax records. Here’s where you can locate it:

- Welcome Letter: When you first register for Self Assessment, you'll get a 'welcome to Self Assessment' letter (SA250) from HMRC.
- Tax Documents: Your UTR will be on your previous tax returns and any other official correspondence from HMRC, such as payment reminders or your annual statement.
- Online: Log into your personal tax account on the HMRC website or use the HMRC app.
- Notice to File: If you've received a notice to file a tax return, your UTR will be there too.

Lost Your UTR Number?

If your UTR number has gone AWOL, don't worry. Before you contact HMRC, double-check all documents mentioned. If it's still MIA, HMRC is just a call away. Remember, safeguard your UTR to prevent identity theft.

Need a UTR to Submit Your Tax Return?

A UTR is non-negotiable for filing your Self Assessment tax return.

How Do I Get a UTR Number?

- Register Online: Swiftly apply by registering as self-employed on HMRC’s website. This is also how you'd get a UTR for setting up a limited company.
- Phone HMRC: Dial 0300 200 3310 to discuss your UTR needs. Be ready with personal details and your National Insurance number.
- Write a Letter: Less common nowadays, but still an option. Bear in mind it can be a slow process.

Registering for a UTR

You get on HMRC’s radar for a UTR once you register for self-assessment or start a limited company. Do it online or post a completed form to HMRC. They expect this within the first three months of your business’s life. Wait for an activation code in the post, then set up your online tax account.

Information for UTR Registration

Have these details handy:

- Personal information (name, date of birth, address)
- National Insurance number
- Contact details
- Self-employment start date
- Business details (address, type)

UTR for Companies

HMRC also assigns every limited company a UTR, which is necessary for tax obligations. It comes your way when registering your company and is found on official HMRC correspondence, such as the CT603 form.

Keep this number secure and accessible for future tax-related tasks.

FAQs about UTR Numbers

What is a UTR number?
A UTR (unique taxpayer reference) number is a distinct 10-digit code assigned to every UK taxpayer, whether they are self-employed, part of a partnership, or operating a limited company. This number is essential for filing a self-assessment tax return either online or through the mail.

What happens if I’ve lost my UTR number?
Losing your UTR number isn't cause for panic but should be addressed promptly. Check any HMRC correspondence where it might be listed, such as tax returns, payment reminders, or your SA250 letter. If it remains elusive, contacting HMRC by phone is the next step. Protecting your UTR number is crucial since its loss could lead to identity theft.

Do you need a UTR number to submit your return?
Indeed, a UTR number is a prerequisite for filing your self-assessment tax return. It's required for both self-employed individuals and limited company owners.

How do I get a UTR number?
You can quickly obtain a UTR number by registering as self-employed on the HMRC website. This process is also applicable when setting up a limited company. Once registered for self-assessment or upon the establishment of a limited company, HMRC will automatically issue your UTR number.

Where can I find my UTR number?
Your UTR number is provided by HMRC after registering for a Self Assessment tax return. If you're already registered, it's listed on:
- Your "welcome to self-assessment" letter (SA250).
- Previous self-assessment tax returns.
- Payment reminders.
- Notices to file a tax return.
- Statements of account.
Additionally, you can find it in your personal account on the HMRC website.

Do Company Directors Have UTR Numbers?
Yes, if you are a director of a UK limited company, you'll have your own personal UTR number for individual tax affairs, separate from the company's corporate UTR number.

Updated on: 07/11/2023

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