Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)

A UTR number is an abbreviation for a Unique Taxpayer Reference number. This is a ten-digit code used by HMRC to identify taxpayers. You’ll need your UTR number to file a tax return, to claim certain state benefits and may be asked for it when you speak to HMRC as a verification.

Is there more than one type of UTR number?

Yes. There are three main types of UTR number to be aware of. They vary depending on the type of business you have:

Why do I need a UTR?

Before you file a tax return, you have to let HMRC know that you’re earning untaxed income. To do this, you have to register for Self Assessment online. This needs to be done by 5th October the tax year after you’ve earned money.

How long does it take to get a UTR number?

Once you apply for a new UTR number, you’ll usually get one within 10 working days. But don’t forget that it doesn’t end here! If it’s your first time applying for Self Assessment, you will also have to activate it. To do this, you need an activation code. This takes a further week to arrive so make sure you apply for one as soon as you get your UTR number in the post.

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