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Along with your name and date of birth, HMRC uses unique reference numbers to help them locate and manage your tax records. A Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number is a 10-digit reference number which identifies your business.

What is a UTR number?

UTR stands for Unique Taxpayer Reference and, like the name suggests, this is a unique code issued by HMRC when someone sets up a business. You might also hear it called a ‘tax reference’. Depending on what sort of business structure you run, you might have more than one UTR.

How do I get a UTR number?

You’ll normally be sent a UTR number when you tell HMRC or Companies House about a new business, such as registering for Self Assessment as a sole trader, incorporating a new company, or as a result of registering another entity (such as a partnership) for Self Assessment.

Some people need to apply for more than one UTR number. For example, if you set up a company and you plan to take dividends from the business:

  • You’ll need a UTR for the limited company so you can send a Company Tax Return to report its income, and pay Corporation Tax on any profits. You’ll receive the company UTR when you register with Companies House, along with your Company Registration Number.
  • You’ll also need a separate UTR so you can submit Self Assessment tax returns to report the dividend income you receive from the company. Don’t mix them up!


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Where do I find my UTR number?

Your UTR number is usually shown on any letters or emails between you and HMRC. Just make sure that you use the correct one!

  • A UTR is normally a 10 digit number, sometimes shown with the letter ‘K’ after it. For example, 1234567891 K
  • A company’s UTR number looks a bit different, and usually begins with 3 numbers, then a 10 digit reference number and the letter ‘A’. For example, 123 0123456789 A

What if I can’t find my UTR?

If you can’t find any letters or documents from HMRC with your UTR on, you might be able to find it by signing into your Personal Tax Account. If you still struggle to find it, contact HMRC as soon as possible, especially if you’re getting near to your tax return deadline.

Learn more about our online accounting services for businesses and employers. Call the team on 020 3355 4047, or get an instant online quote.

About The Author

Beth-Anne Karellen

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.

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