Your Unique Taxpayer Reference number (UTR) for short, is a 10-digit number you’ll receive after registering for your Self Assessment or setting up your own limited company.
Starting a new business is an exciting time, but can also mean lots of information flying about that you need to keep track of. Hidden within the onslaught of letters and emails will be your UTR number.
This is an important reference number for your business, so we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding your UTR and where you can find yours. So, grab a cuppa, and relax.
What does a UTR number look like?
UTR numbers are fairly easy to spot. Sometimes also called a tax reference number, it takes the form of a 10-digit number that look something like 12345 67890. Everyone will have their own unique number, so don’t worry if yours looks different to someone else’s – it’s supposed to!
What is the purpose of a UTR number?
Similar to your National Insurance number, your UTR is a personal tax reference number that’ll stick by you through your working life (or your limited company if you set one up). It’s used to identify who you are, how much tax you owe, and what your tax obligations are.
It’s HMRC’s way of ensuring you make the correct payments, and also helps them to watch out for any suspicious activity on your account.
You’ll need a UTR number to:
- Submit your Self Assessment
- File a Company Tax Return for your limited company
- Collaborate with accountants (or for them to act on your behalf as an agent)
- Pay taxes in installments
When will I receive my UTR number?
Once you register for Self Assessment or set up your own limited company, you’ll receive your UTR number in the post within 10 days. If you need it sooner, log into your Personal Tax account or the HMRC app – it should be there a little earlier.
Do I need more than one UTR number?
This depends on what sort of business you operate. If you’re a sole trader, even if you have multiple sole trader businesses, you’ll only have one personal UTR number. That’s because sole traders aren’t legally separate from their business – you are the business!
If you’re a limited company, you’re seen as a separate entity from your business, so you’ll have:
- A UTR number for your company, to pay your Corporation Tax
- And a separate one for your own personal taxes, that you’ll need when you submit a Self Assessment tax return to report any personal income you receive
Anyone running multiple limited companies will need a separate UTR number for each one to pay Corporation Tax. If you do have multiple UTR numbers, file them away somewhere safe so you don’t get them mixed up!
What happens if I don’t receive my UTR number or if I lose it?
If you’ve either lost your UTR number or have yet to receive one (and it’s been over 10 days since you registered for your Self Assessment), you can request it via the Self Assessment helpline.
If you’re a limited company and need your UTR number for your Corporation Tax, you can request a copy of it online.
Who do I give my UTR number to?
Your UTR number is unique to you and shouldn’t be shared around to just anyone. You should only really need to give it out if:
- Your accountant, financial advisor, or someone else who deals with HMRC on your behalf needs it
- You work as a subcontractor, and your contractor requests your UTR number to check the tax they need to withhold
Is my Government Gateway ID the same as my UTR number?
Your Government Gateway ID and your UTR number are different.
You use your Government Gateway ID to login to your HMRC portal. Having this ID makes you access your HMRC account much quicker! It’s 12 digits and usually looks like this 123123123123.
You can find your UTR number on your Government Gateway account, by logging in and looking under your account summary, or your Self Assessment tax section in your account. You can also log into the HMRC app and find it in your Personal Tax Account.
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