How To Apply for a UTR Number
Do you need to complete a self assessment tax return?
If so, you will typically also need a Unique Taxpayers Reference (UTR) number. Your UTR number is provided to you by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and is totally unique to you. It is the reference number you use for your tax affairs and makes it easy for HMRC to identify you.
UTR numbers are most commonly needed if you are self-employed. This is because the self-employed make up by far the majority of the people who have to complete a self assessment tax return. However, you may also need a UTR number if you self assess for another reason (for example if you have property or investment income).
What is a UTR Number?
A UTR is a, unique number provided by the Inland Revenue so that you can complete your tax return. It is used to complete your tax return and is often used for correspondence with the Inland Revenue.
It has ten digits (for example, 34512 37891) and you will find it on your Tax Return, your Notice to File a Tax Return or on your Statement of Account. It may also be on other documents.
How to apply for a UTR Number
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 the section below).
If you do need a UTR number, you should contact your local Tax Office to obtain one. Bear in mind that you can only do this by telephone or in person; you cannot apply for a UTR number online.
As your UTR number is considered sensitive information, it will be sent to you in the post.
Registering as self-employed
It is important to let HMRC know that you are setting up as a self-employed person as soon as possible. Even if you already fill in a tax return each year, you should let them 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 an initial penalty.
You can register as self employed:
- online (through the HMRC website)
- by completing the form CWF1 – “Becoming self-employed and registering for National Insurance contributions and/or tax”
- by calling the Newly Self-Employed Helpline on 0845 9154 515
When you register to become self employed, you will automatically be allocated a Unique Taxpayers Reference number (assuming you do not have a UTR number already).