Your tax reference indicates which employer you are working for, and appears on your payslip or letters from HMRC. Though they sound the same, a tax reference number shouldn’t be confused with a Unique Taxpayer Reference. They are separate numbers, relating to different things.
Where does a tax reference number come from?
Employers register for Pay As You Earn so that they can deduct National Insurance and income tax from employees each time they pay them. Registering for the PAYE scheme generates a PAYE reference number.
It’s this number that employers give to their employees, so they can identify their employer if they talk to HMRC. Employers also refer to it in their own dealings with HMRC.
Where can I find my tax reference number?
There are several places you can find your tax reference number. These include:
a payslip from your employer
your P45 if you stop working for them
on your P60. This document is issued at the end of each tax year, showing the total amount of pay, NI and income tax relating to that employer.
your Notice of Coding. This is the document HMRC provide to tell you which tax code is operated against your income from an employer.
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What will the tax reference look like?
The tax reference shown on your paperwork starts with three numbers. These are followed by numbers, letters, or a combination of both.
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I'm an experienced and fully AAT and ACCA qualified accountant, who is enthusiastic about helping business owners succeed. I also love cooking and needlepoint (at different times!). Learn more about Beth.