What is a UTR number?

Definition of UTR number

A UTR number (Unique Taxpayer Reference number) is a ten-digit code issued by HMRC to identify individual taxpayers who need to complete a Self Assessment tax return. Any individual, company, trust or other organisation that registers to pay tax through Self Assessment is given a UTR number.

Just like your National Insurance number, your UTR number is unique and remains the same for life.

How to get a UTR number

Your UTR number is issued when you register for Self Assessment. It can take up to eight weeks to receive all the information needed to activate your UTR number through your HMRC online account, so if you need your UTR for Self Assessment filing you should get you application sorted as soon as you can.

Where can you find your UTR number?

You can find your UTR number in your HMRC online account. It is also printed on any letters from HMRC about Self Assessment, such as your notice to complete a tax return. Be aware that it might be referred to simply as ‘tax reference’.

Applying for a new UTR number

If you’ve lost your UTR number, you can apply to retrieve it by calling HMRC’s Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310. You should make sure you have your National Insurance number to hand.

If you're a director of a limited company, you can apply to retrieve your company’s UTR number online. You will need your company registration number and registered company name to complete the form. Once you’ve completed the form, HMRC will post the number to your company’s registered address as shown on Companies House.

How long does it take to get a new UTR number?

HMRC says it can take up to eight weeks to receive a new UTR number, but it’s usually a lot quicker than that!

How do UTR numbers for business partnerships work?

For partnerships, you will need three UTR numbers: one for the business and one for each partner. This is because both the partners and the business need to submit separate tax returns.

What happens if you enter the wrong UTR number on your tax return?

Entering an incorrect UTR number on a tax return is a common mistake. If you think you’ve done this you should call HMRC on the Self Assessment helpline number.

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