What is a UTR number?
A UTR number is your ‘unique taxpayer reference’ number. HMRC assigns each self-assessment taxpayer a different number in order to track their tax records.
All UTR numbers have 10 digits, and sometimes there’s a letter ‘K’ at the end.
Who needs a UTR number from HMRC?
You only need a UTR number if you submit a self-assessment tax return.
This could be the case if you’re self-employed or have set up a limited company, if you owe tax on savings interest, dividends or capital gains, or if you earn more than £100,000.
There are a range of other circumstances where you’ll be required to submit a tax return.
How to get a UTR number
You won’t automatically be given a UTR number. You need to register for self-assessment to be issued with one. Here’s how to do it:
- Register for self-assessment online: Before you submit a tax return for the first time – say, after you’ve started a new business – you need to register for self-assessment, which you can do on the HMRC website. When you do this, you will automatically be assigned a UTR number, which will be sent in a letter through the post.
- Apply over the phone: you can call HMRC on 0300 200 3310 to ask about your UTR number. You may have to provide some details, and they may still direct you to apply online.
- Apply by post: you can write to HMRC to request a UTR number. Be aware that it’s likely to take a long time as several letters are likely to go back and forth asking you to provide information.
How long does it take to get a UTR number?
After registering for self-assessment you should receive your UTR number in 10 working days or 21 working days if you’re abroad.
Information you’ll need to get your UTR number
To register for self-assessment, you’ll need the following information:
- Full name
- Current address
- National Insurance number
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Email address
If you run your own business, you may also need:
- The date you started being self-employed
- Type of business
- Business address
- Business phone number
I’ve lost my UTR number: what should I do?
If you have already been issued a UTR number but can’t find it, call HMRC’s self-assessment helpline (0300 200 3310).
To help them find your UTR number, you should have your National Insurance number to hand.
Submitting a tax return without your UTR number could result in a fine, as HMRC may not be able to match your return to their records before the submission deadline.