What is a UTR Number and How to Get One?
What is a UTR number?
So you’ve started your own self-employed business, and now you need a UTR number to get going. What is UTR? UTR stands for Unique Taxpayer Reference, which is a ten-digit reference assigned by HMRC in order to track your tax records. UTRs are only issued when an individual has been accepted as being self-employed with their own name or their trading name. In this article we will look at the process of getting a UTR number and why it’s so important!
Who needs a Unique Taxpayer Reference number from HMRC?
If you’re self-employed, then you will definitely need a UTR number. You cannot file your tax return without it. In addition, if you’re employed but also have some self-employed income, then you will also need to apply for a UTR number. Basically, if you have any dealings with the taxman at all, then you will need this reference number.
If you’re a limited company then your UTR number as an individual will be different from your company tax reference number, you will need your individual UTR number whenever you correspond with HMRC or complete a Self Assessment tax return.
How to get a UTR number?
The process of getting your UTR number is very straightforward. First, you need to create an account with HMRC online services. Once you’ve registered, you will be able to apply for your UTR number directly on the website. It usually takes around two weeks for HMRC to assign your UTR, and they will send it to you in the post. Easy!
Apply UTR online
Yes, you can definitely apply for your UTR number online. This is the easiest and most convenient way to apply, and you can have your UTR number within two weeks. There are a few different ways of doing this depending on what type of licence or registration you need. HMRC sends you a UTR number even when you register for self-assessment as you notify HMRC about the untaxed income you’re earning.
Apply over the phone:
If you don’t feel comfortable applying for your UTR number online, you can also do it over the phone. Just call the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3300 and someone will be happy to help you out.
Apply by Post
If you would prefer to apply for your UTR number by post, then download a UTR application form (SA203) from the HMRC website. Complete it and send it with all of the appropriate documents directly to:
Unique Taxpayer Reference Unit
HM Revenue & Customs
PO Box 1428
Leicester LE99 0AA
How long does it take to get a UTR number?
You can usually receive your UTR within two weeks after applying online or over the phone. If you’re using a postal service, however, this may be slightly longer as they will have to go through some additional checks before sending out your UTR number! How do I start my tax return once I’ve got my UTR? Once you
Where can I find my Unique Taxpayer Reference number?
Once you have your UTR number, you will be able to find it in a few different places. It will be included in all letters, payment reminders and correspondence from HMRC, and you can also access it through their online services portal. If you need to share your UTR with any third-party organisations, then they will also be able to request it from HMRC directly.
Sharing UTR numbers
If you’re sending any correspondence with HMRC regarding self-assessment tax returns and so forth, be sure to include your UTR number in all communications. This is because it allows them to identify who has sent each letter, which makes things much easier when they access their records! You might even find that some organisations will ask for your UTR before providing services (for example banks) – so keep it handy!
When should you never share your UTR number
Never share your UTR number with people that you haven’t met or don’t trust, particularly over the phone. UTRs are a very valuable asset and many fraudsters will try to trick you into giving it out so that they can use your UTR number to collect money from HMRC in their name!
How much does it cost?
Your UTR number is free. There is no charge for getting a UTR number. It’s free to apply and there are no ongoing fees associated with it.
Information you’ll need to get your UTR number
To apply for the UTR number you must provide HMRC with a few important documents like
- Basic information like your name, date of birth and address
- Your national insurance number
- A contact telephone number and email address
- The date you started self-employment
- Your business address and telephone number
- Your business type
UTR Numbers for Construction Workers
If you are a construction worker, there are specific UTR numbers that you need to apply for and your employer may ask for the UTR number. This is because construction workers are classed as self-employed for tax purposes. UTRs are needed for many different types of construction work, including building a new property or carrying out maintenance on existing properties.
You will also need your UTR number f you want to apply for CIS (Construction Industry Scheme) or tax rebate.
What’s a company UTR number?
If you want to start your own company then it will be important for you to get UTR numbers that can apply as the UTR number of your company. It is not mandatory but it is helpful if there is any need in future communication with HMRC where they ask about UTR numbers.
A UTR number is also known as a company tax reference number. Like a personal UTR number, it is unique and permanent. A UTR is different from a company registration number (CRN) as the UTR is specifically for your company’s tax affairs. The CRN is used to identify your company when it is registered with Companies House.
Can I Use My UTR Number as My Company’s UTR Number?
No, you cannot use your personal UTR number as your company UTR number. The company UTR and your personal UTR numbers have to be separate.
Difference between Company UTR and Personal UTR
There is no difference between a company UTR number and a personal UTR number. They are both unique and permanent numbers that allow you to identify yourself for tax purposes. The only difference is that one will be associated with your company, and the other will be associated with you as an individual.
HMRC issues personal UTRs to people who are self-employed, including contractors, freelancers and UTRs for construction workers. If you’ve been issued with a UTR by HMRC then it is because your income falls into the taxation category as an earner of self-employed earnings. The UTR number allows the tax authorities to identify correspondence from each individual so that they can be sure that the right information is reaching the correct person.
I’ve been asked for a Unique Taxpayer Referene number but I’m not self-employed!
If you’re an employee or director of a company and haven’t requested a UTR yourself then it’s possible that the organisation asking you to provide your UTR is doing so because they want to be able to identify you as part of their income tax return submission process (i.e., if someone loses their UTR number). In this case, it won’t affect whether or not HMRC will accept your submission, but some organisations may prefer to have one assigned specifically within their records.
Find a lost UTR number
If you’ve misplaced or lost your UTR number, don’t worry! You can easily retrieve it by contacting HMRC directly. They will be able to help you locate the number and provide any other assistance you may need.
Frequently Asked Questions about UTR number
Who can apply for UTR numbers?
Companies and individuals. UTRs are issued to workers who have been declared self-employed by HMRC (i.e., those whose earnings fall under the tax code that applies to self-employment). This includes contractors, freelancers, and people working in construction industries such as building or care work.
What is a UTR number used for?
UTR’s primary function is to identify you with HMRC so they know which correspondence should be directed towards your business or yourself personally. You will need this if you want to submit tax return online on behalf of your company or personal income respectively, but it also allows them greater visibility into how much money has been earned from each individual when compared against other businesses in the same field.
How long is a UTR number valid for?
A UTR number is permanent and will never expire. It will remain linked to you, even if your business changes hands or you move to a new address.
Can I use my UTR number as my company’s VAT registration number?
You can’t use your UTR number as your company’s VAT registration number but you can use it as your company’s tax reference number (see above). This makes communication with HMRC much simpler as they will already have your UTR on file.
A UTR number is a unique and permanent reference number that allows you to identify yourself for tax purposes. It’s important to note that if you do choose to use your UTR as your company’s UTR, then both you and your company will be responsible for filing the tax bill and submitting returns. If you’ve been issued with a UTR by HMRC then it is because your income falls into the taxation category of self-employed earnings.
Jibran Qureshi FCCA is the Managing Director of Clear House Accountants and has over 10 years of experience in practice and across multiple industries. Jibran’s educational background includes a Master’s in Financial Strategy from Oxford University and an Executive MBA from Hult International Business School. His experience in Financial Strategy, Tax Planning, Operational Consultancy and Performance Reporting guide his cognizant approach to leading Clear House and its clients to the future. It was this dexterity that led him to be Enterprise Nation’s Top 50 Advisors.
Jibran is fueled by his passion for helping businesses. He unequivocally believes that as business advisors and accountants for our clients, it is our responsibility to work with them as business partners. As specialists, it is our duty to help our clients navigate through the complexities of constant change and the implications that come with it.
Over the past decade, innovative disruptions have changed the way businesses work, everything from cloud software, innovative business models, to AI and machine learning, have impacted how businesses operate, grow, and expand.
Jibran recognized the need to manage these disruptions sustainably, early on and shaped Clear House Accountants to not just be compliance specialists, but advisors who help build complex ecosystems around cloud accounting software, provide advice on funding support, help manage innovative tax schemes, set up and implement complex strategic plans, and much more. So, his clients can thrive, not just survive.
Jibran developed his prime role as the Managing Director to build Clear House’s capabilities so it can add value for its clients. He is of the firm belief that this can be done through consistent high-level training, building the right tools, and creating roadmaps to help businesses cope with prospective disruptions. He envisages that every client that comes on board, is provided maximum value through onboarding, ongoing services and the right mix of tools to help them become the best in the world.