Each employer and pension provider has a unique reference number which identifies their tax records with HMRC. If you need to contact HMRC about tax, they might ask you to confirm this tax reference number.
You’ll also find the tax reference number on your P60, which employers give to each employee at the end of the tax year. This document shows how much you were paid during the tax year, as well as the amount of income tax and National Insurance that you paid.
If you no longer work for your employer then the tax reference number will appear on your P45, which is a tax document employers give to the workers at the end of their employment.
What does a tax reference number look like?
The tax reference number consists of three numbers, then several numbers, letters, or a combination of both. The initial three digits of the tax reference number indicate the tax office dealing with that particular employer. The remainder of the tax reference indicates the employer. Employees can also provide their National Insurance number if they need to contact any tax office in the UK.
Is a tax reference number the same as a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)?
If you register for Self Assessment and also have an employer or pension, you may have letters from HMRC showing either of these, depending on what the letter is about.
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What if I have more than one employer?
Each employer that you work for will have their own unique employer reference number. Double-check the letter to make sure you have the correct reference number!
Using the correct HMRC reference number
Each employer who registers for Pay as You Earn with HMRC has a unique tax reference number. It helps HMRC identify which employer they are dealing with.
You might also use other HMRC services, such as VAT or Corporation Tax, receiving separate reference numbers for each of these, too. Keep a list of relevant reference numbers, and which services they’re for, to avoid confusion.
What is a Notice of Coding?
HMRC issue a Notice of Coding each year, for every employment or occupational pension you have. The Notice of Coding tells you about any personal tax free allowances you have for the year, and how they have been split between employments. Contact HMRC as soon as possible if spot any coding errors, to avoid paying the wrong amount of tax.
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MAAT and ICPA accountant, with a passion for making accountancy and bookkeeping accessible. Other interests include cloud-based software development for web and mobile access, keeping fit, reading, and entrepreneurship.