If you have recently registered as self-employed or you are considering doing so, you might have heard about UTR numbers. Everyone who is self-employed is issued with a UTR number, as are those who register as a limited company. However, you might be wondering how to get a UTR number and what it’s used for. Below, we cover everything you need to know.
What is an UTR Number?
A UTR number, which stands for unique taxpayer reference number, is used by HMRC to identify you or your business as a taxpayer. Whenever HMRC are dealing with your tax, they will use your UTR number to make sure they are dealing with the right person. Using your UTR number, HMRC can keep track of your Self Assessment tax returns, paperwork and conversations they have had with you, and separate you from other taxpayers.
What Does a UTR Number Look Like?
A UTR number is made up of 10 digits and everyone’s UTR number is completely unique.
Why Do I Need an UTR Number?
The main reason for needing an UTR number is to complete Self Assessment tax returns. Without one, you won’t be able to file your tax return successfully. You will also need a UTR number for Construction Industry Scheme tax refund registration, and you will need one to work with a financial advisor or accountant. Without a UTR number, you will not be able to submit your Self Assessment tax return and this could result in a fine for late filing.
How Do I Get My UTR Number?
The easiest way to get a UTR number is to apply online and register as being self-employed or having a limited company, which can be done on the HMRC website. Once you have registered and are set up for Self Assessment, HMRC will automatically send you a UTR number. You don’t have to apply for a UTR number separately, this will happen automatically once you have registered. This should arrive within 10 working days if you are residing in the UK, or 21 working days if you are abroad.
Before issuing you with a UTR number, HMRC will need certain pieces of information from you. This includes information such as your name, date of birth, address, national insurance number and self-employment information. If you are applying as a business, you will also be asked about the type of business you have.
I’ve Lost My UTR Number
It’s important to keep your UTR number safe but, of course, misplacing it is always a possibility. There are a number of ways to find out your UTR number if you lose it. It can be found on previous tax returns, payment reminders, notices to file a tax return and many documents from HMRC. You can aso find your UTR number by logging into your tax account online. If you still cannot find your UTR number and you are registered for Self Assessment, contact the helpline.