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How To Get A UTR Number If You Are Self Employed

If you are self employed you will be responsible for paying your own tax and National Insurance contributions.  You have to complete a Self Assessment tax return every year to let HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) know what your earnings have been and what tax is due.

Everyone who completes a Self Assessment tax return has a Unique Taxpayers Reference (UTR) number.  This is a ten digit number that is completely unique to you and is used by HMRC to identify you and your specific tax affairs.

One of the most common reasons you will need a UTR number is if you are self employed.  Our guide explains how you get a UTR number if you are newly self employed.

Registering as self employed

When you become self employed, you are obliged to let HMRC know in a timely fashion.  If you don’t register as self employed, you may pay a financial penalty and so it is worth letting HMRC know as soon as you can.

If you have completed a Self Assessment tax return in the past (for example as you had property or investment income) you may already have a UTR number that you can use.  If you haven’t, you will be allocated a UTR number as part of the registration process.

Three ways to register as self employed

There are three ways that you can register as self-employed with HMRC.

1. Telephone

You can register as self-employed by calling the Newly Self-employed Helpline on 0845 915 4515. Lines are open from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm Monday to Friday and 8.00 am to 4.00 pm on Saturday.

You will need a lot of information to hand including your National Insurance number, the nature of your business, your business address and you personal details.

Bear in mind that you can’t register by telephone if you are a partner in Limited Liability Partnership.

2. Online

The quickest and most convenient way to register is on the web at the HMRC website.

Submitting your information (as above) to HMRC is secure, but their reply is not.  This means that confidential information such as your UTR number will be sent to you through the post within a few days.

Again, bear in mind that you can’t register by telephone if you are a partner in Limited Liability Partnership.

3. By post

You can also register as self employed and request a UTR number by post.  To do this, you need to download and complete the form CWF1 ‘Becoming self-employed and being registered for National Insurance contributions and/or tax’ from the HMRC website.

If you’re a partner in Limited Liability Partnership you must register by post.

Assuming you do not have a UTR number already, you will be sent details of your ten digit UTR number once you have registered as self employed.



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Georgi - Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Can you plese give an example of a Self employed UTR?

paul kenifeck - Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

applied for utr 2 week ago but need it ssap

simas maksvitis - Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

i have post all the docs for utr number but i didnt hear from the office for a long time. what to do next?

tony - Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

how do i get a utr number

terry - Thursday, October 27th, 2011

how much does it cost to get my utr number?