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How to get my UTR number?

We've updated this guide on 12th February 2021

Your UTR number is a Unique Taxpayer Reference that you get when you register for Self Assessment.

It consists of ten digits (sometimes with a letter K at its end) and is issued to you by HMRC.

I’ve never had a UTR – how to get it?

You can get it in two ways:

If you decide to do it yourself, the process consists of 5 key steps:

  1. register for HMRC’s online service
  2. after registering, HMRC will send you your UTR number and ask you to enrol for Self Assessment (this takes about a week)
  3. then log back in to HMRC and enrol for Self Assessment
  4. after enrolment, HMRC will send your UTR activation code in the post (another week)
  5. activate your Self Assessment using the activation code.

All in all, you should be able to get your new UTR and register for Self Assessment in about 2-3 weeks.

It is important to remember that once you have the code, you have 28 days to use it for UTR activation.

I think I lost my UTR – where to find it?

If you have registered for Self Assessment in the past with HMRC you can find your UTR number:

  1. on the front page of previous your tax returns
  2. on any Self Assessment documents that HMRC has sent you (notices to file a return, payment reminders, etc.)
  3. in your online HMRC account under the “self assessment” section.

Why do I need a UTR number, anyway?

  • when you file a Self Assessment tax return, either by yourself or through an accountant (including TaxScouts)
  • when you claim a tax relief or benefit
  • (usually) when you need to contact HMRC.

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