1. What does “UTR” stand for?
It is short for “Unique Taxpayer Reference”.
2. What is a UTR?
It is a 10 number code that HMRC use to uniquely identify you and your tax records.
3. Is it the same as my National Insurance number?
No, your NI number is entirely separate from your UTR – however just like your NI number your UTR will stay with you for life.
4. Why do i need a UTR?
If you have decided to become Self Employed, you will need to complete an annual Self-Assessment Return. A UTR number will be your key to enabling you to complete your tax return online. Having a UTR is also proof that you have registered for Self-Assessment and can also be useful if you wish to appoint an agent to manage your tax affairs.
5. Does everyone get assigned a UTR number?
No, if you want one then you will need to apply to HMRC for one.
6. When do I need to get a UTR?
You must register with HMRC as Self Employed as soon as possible after you start trading, and no later than the 5th October following the end of the tax year in which you commenced being a sole trader.
7. I have previously registered as self employed, do I need to get a new UTR?
No, your UTR from before will still apply now.
8. OK, but I don’t know what my UTR number was/is?
If you have previously received a UTR, then you will find it on any correspondence received from HMRC (for example the SA250 letter “Welcome to Self Employment”) or on any previous Self-Assessment tax return you have completed. Failing that you can always call HMRC’s Self-Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 and they should be able to help you.
9. I haven’t applied for a UTR yet, how do I do that?
The easiest way is to apply online via HMRC’s website to receive one. You should then receive a letter from HMRC (typically within 10 working days) containing the necessary activation codes. Be sure not to leave it to the last minute as failing to register with HRMC for Self Assessment could result in you receiving a fine.
10. What information is required by HMRC to obtain a UTR?
The application process will make clear exactly what you need to provide but typically you will need to provide; your name, address, contact phone number, Date of Birth, NI Number, email address, date commenced self-employment and the nature of your business activity.