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7 Things You Never Knew About Your UTR Number

Do you have a Unique Taxpayers Reference number (UTR number)?

If you compete a self assessment tax return, the answer will be ‘yes’.  But, what is a UTR number?  Where can you find it?  And what is it used for?

Our guide reveals seven things you never knew about your UTR number.

1. Your UTR number is unique to you

Your UTR is a unique number provided to you by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).  It is used to complete your tax return and is often used for correspondence with HMRC.  As it is unique to you, it makes it easy for HMRC to access your details when you submit your self assessment tax return or if you have any queries about your tax.

2. A UTR number has ten digits

All UTRs have ten digits.  Your UTR number will look something like: 59712 36548.

3. A UTR number can be found on your tax documents

If you need to locate your UTR number there are several places where you will find it.  These include:

  • Your self assessment tax return
  • Your ‘Welcome to Self Assessment’ letter (SA250)
  • Your ‘Notice to File a Tax Return’ – the reminder that your self assessment tax return is due
  • Your ‘Statement of Account’

4. You should automatically receive a UTR number when you register as self employed

When you set up as self employed you should let HMRC know as soon as possible. Even if you already file a self assessment tax return each year, you should let HMRC know that your employment status is changing.  If you do not tell HMRC as soon as you begin self-employment you may have to pay a penalty.

You can register as self employed by completing the form CWF1 (“Becoming self-employed and registering for National Insurance contributions and/or tax”), online or by telephone.

When you register as self employed you will be allocated a UTR number (if you don’t have one already).

5. You can request a UTR number if you don’t have one

If you do not have a UTR number, it is easy to obtain one.  If you are going to be self-employed, you can apply for a UTR number as part of the process for registering as self-employed (see above).

If you do need a UTR number, you should contact your local Tax Office in person or by telephone to obtain one.  As your UTR number is considered sensitive information, it will be sent to you in the post.

6. You can have a UTR number even if you aren’t self employed

UTR numbers are most commonly needed if you are self-employed as self-employed people make up the majority of those who have to complete a tax return.  However, you may also need a UTR number if you self assess for another reason (for example if you have investment or property income).

7. You can get details of your UTR number from your Tax Office if you lose it

If you cannot find your UTR number on any of the documents you have received from HMRC, you should get in touch with your local Tax Office.  Your Tax Office will undertake various security checks in order to locate your UTR number for you.

As your UTR number is confidential, it will be sent to you via the post.

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Daniela - Thursday, June 9th, 2011

I apply for Utr in January and I never get my Utr.
What I can do in this situation?
Thank you

Graham - Monday, July 11th, 2011

Could I get a UTR Number if I am claiming Jobseekers Allowance

Micheal O Toole - Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

I would like to know that if i apply for a UTR number, in the future if i become unemployed and need the jobseekers allowance, will it effect me??

Sandy - Friday, August 19th, 2011

Can I apply for a UTR number even if I don’t have an national insurance number?