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Any individual can ask to receive a self assessment tax return to be completed and returned to HM Revenue & Customs, which entails registering under the Self Assessment system. It is usually only people who are required by law to complete a Self Assessment tax return who do register, like sole traders, partnerships and certain individuals who meet the specified criteria for Self Assessment.

This category includes people who receive age allowances and have two or more sources of income, pensioners who receive reduced age allowances and people who have some types of income over a certain level.

Once a person has registered for Self Assessment with HMRC, and the correct records have been created, a Unique Taxpayer Reference number will be sent out to the taxpayer. Every year, usually in April, a letter will be sent to the individual or partnership telling them to complete a tax return. If the person chooses to complete a paper tax return, it will be sent in April each year to be completed and returned by 31st October. Filing online has a deadline of 31st January each year.

The Unique Taxpayer Reference number is made up of 10 numbers and will be sent out to either the taxpayer or the agent. The UTR will be displayed on the Self Assessment tax return the notice to complete a tax return or other correspondence. The Unique Taxpayer Reference number is the reference number used to identify a person’s tax records, and should be kept in a secure location.

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