What is a UTR number?

Definition of UTR number

A UTR number (Unique Taxpayer Reference number) is a 10-digit code issued by HMRC to individual taxpayers and companies who need to complete a tax return. HMRC sometimes refers to the UTR number as a ‘tax reference’.

How to get a UTR number

HMRC issues a UTR number to taxpayers when they register for Self Assessment. HMRC issues limited companies with a UTR for Corporation Tax when the company registers with Companies House.

Where to find your UTR number

Individual taxpayers and sole traders

Individual taxpayers (including sole traders) can find their UTR number in their HMRC personal tax account or business tax account. The number is also printed on letters from HMRC, such as payment reminders and notices to file a tax return.

You can apply to retrieve a lost UTR number by contacting HMRC. You should make sure you have your National Insurance number to hand when you do this.

Partnerships

Partnerships require multiple UTR numbers in order to submit a Self Assessment tax return: one number for the business and one for each partner. This is because the partners and the business all need to submit separate tax returns.

Partners in a partnership can find their Unique Taxpayer Reference number in each of their personal tax accounts. HMRC will put the partnership's UTR on letters such as the ‘Notice to Complete a Tax Return’ for the partnership. Make sure you know which UTR belongs to the partnership and which numbers belong to the partners when submitting the tax return for a partnership.

Limited companies

HMRC should send a UTR number for Corporation Tax to the registered company address within 14 days of the company being registered with Companies House. The number can also be found on any letters from HMRC or on the company’s business tax account.

Limited company directors who have lost their UTR can request a copy of it from HMRC. Directors requesting a copy of their company’s UTR will need to know the company registration number and registered company name in order to complete the form. HMRC will send it to the business address that’s registered with Companies House.

When you’ll need a UTR number

HMRC uses UTR numbers to identify individuals and businesses when dealing with tax. You’ll need the number to file your Self Assessment tax return and you may also be asked for it during other interactions with HMRC such as when you’re claiming a tax refund.

If you think that you’ve entered the wrong UTR number on your Self Assessment you should contact HMRC to amend the error.

Got questions?

Bookkeeping and tax tips

We are committed to keeping your information safe. Read our Privacy Policy to find out more.

Are you an accountant or bookkeeper?

Find out more about FreeAgent for your practice.