Along with your name and date of birth, HMRC uses unique reference numbers to help them your tax records. A Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number is a 10-digit reference number which identifies your business.
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.
You’ll normally be sent a UTR number after incorporating a new company, or as a result of registering yourself or 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’re the only director and shareholder:
You’ll need a UTR for the limited company so that 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.
The company UTR only deals with the company’s tax so if you take an income from the business, such as dividend payments as a company shareholder, then you’ll need to register for Self Assessment. You’ll receive a separate UTR number – 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.
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About The Author
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.