A 10-digit number that is unique to either an individual or a company is referred to as a Unique Taxpayer Reference or UTR. The reference identifies an individual personally with HMRC for all things related to their tax obligations. An individual automatically receives a UTR when she or he registers for self-assessment. A UTR number can be found on previous tax returns or HMRC documents such as an SA250 letter “Welcome to self assessment”. Apart from this letter, there are a number of other ways to find a mislaid UTR number, for example:
- Payment reminders
- Notice to file a tax return
- Self-assessment tax return
- Statement of account
If an individual is registered for online services on the HMRC website, she or he can log in and find the UTR number there.
How to receive a UTR number
If an individual is a DNS Accountants customer, we will send them an HMRC SA1 form to sign. Alternatively download HMRC form SA1 here.
Once an individual has registered with HMRC, s/he will receive the “Welcome to self assessment” letter (SA250) detailing their UTR number. An SA1 form certifies registration of a person with HMRC for self-assessment tax returns; the same form is used by people who are not self-employed, but need to register for other reasons, such as to give details of other income, i.e. from rentals.
As the UTR can take some time to come through, individuals are advised to make sure they leave enough time for the application; applications should be made at least a couple of months in advance of the self-assessment tax return deadline of 31 January. HMRC recommend ideally that individuals should allow at least 20 working days to receive their UTR number, as the applicant must confirm their identify and pass multiple security checks. Once the checks are complete, HMRC sends the UTR number by post, which takes up to seven days. If an individual has registered for HRMC’s online services, HMRC will send an email confirming their login details; once the person logs into the portal s/he will be presented with their UTR. Once individuals receive their UTR, DNS Accountants guide them in completing their CIS returns or self-assessment tax returns. The Unique Taxpayer Reference or UTR is identifiable as a 10-digit number, sometimes with a letter ‘K’ at the end.
Information required to register for a UTR number
Getting a UTR number is free. The following information is required to register as self-employed or for self-assessment:
- Business address
- Contact telephone number
- Date of birth
- Business telephone number
- Contact email address
- National Insurance number
- The date started as self-employed
- The nature of the business
Why does someone need a UTR
There are a number of situations when an individual might require a UTR, including:
- Working with a third-party like DNS Accountants – someone in charge of an individual’s financial affairs;
- Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) registration
- Completing the self-assessment tax return
HMRC the UTR to identify an individual as a self-employed taxpayer, or an individual earning income not taxed at source; that is before income is received by the employee from an employer (known as PAYE). It is essential that self-employed individuals register with HMRC and obtain a UTR, for if HMRC learns that an individual is operating as self-employed without notifying them it is likely a heavy fine and/or possible criminal prosecution will result. Where a self-assessment tax return is submitted without a valid UTR the transaction will fail, and an individual could be fined for not filing the form correctly within the deadline. In order to file online, business partnerships also need a UTR for the company and a UTR for every partner.
UTR NUMBER FOR A COMPANY
Both individuals and companies hold UTRs; the company UTR will be issued by HMRC when the company registers. For individuals, the ten-digit reference is found on HMRC-issued documents such as form CT603 “Notice to deliver a company tax return”. The company’s UTR will be included in the first letter received from HMRC at the registered office, with the reference printed beside the headings – “UTR”, “Tax reference”, or “Reference”. The UTR is used by HMRC to identify the company whenever the company makes contact regarding any taxation-related issue. Note that a company’s Company Registration Number (CRN) is not the same as the UTR supplied by HMRC. Companies House issues the CRN immediately upon incorporation of the business; this number is unique to the company and displayed on the Certificate of Incorporation. This number must be provided when contacting Companies House.
FINDING A LOST UTR
Individuals or companies can call the self-assessment helpline if they are unable to find their UTR on any documents from HMRC. There is an online form to use to inform HMRC about a name or address change, which you can access if you click here. If HMRC needs to contact individuals regards confidential matters, they may make contact by phone or post. For more online support, businesses and individuals can watch videos and join webinars for help with Self Assessment.
Additional contact details:
Outside the UK: (+44) 135 535 9022
Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays
Best time to call: phone lines are less busy Monday?Friday before 10am
HOW DNS ACCOUNTANTS CAN HELP
DNS Accountants is a leading accounting-service provider in the United Kingdom. By outsourcing accounting services to DNS Accountants, businesses benefit from consistently high quality services and earn more. These are just two of the many benefits of outsourcing. For any business, reliable services are imperative, and this is the predominant reason why so many businesses rely on DNS Accountants. We provide accounting and taxation services to owner-managed-businesses and self-employed individuals including freelancers and contractors at a time when it has never been so difficult for businesses to keep pace with the ever-changing government regulations and rules.
In our experience, businesses that outsource routine accounting tasks grow and flourish like never before. DNS Accountants’ expert team of chartered accountants (CAs) and ACAs provide services that really add value, ranging from accounting to payroll management to tax preparation and filing.