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How to get my UTR number?

  • 3 min read
  • Last updated 28 Mar 2024

Your UTR number is something that HMRC use to identify you as a taxpayer. But what does it stand for? UTR stands for Unique Taxpayer Reference. 

HMRC send you a UTR number when you register for a Self Assessment tax return. You usually need to file a tax return when you’re declaring to HMRC that you have earned untaxed income, so that they can make sure you’re paying the correct amount of tax.  

You might need to file a tax return if you’re:

  • Self-employed
  • Investor (shares, crypto, property etc.)
  • Construction worker
  • Landlord
  • Employed but have a side hustle

Once you’re sent your UTR number, it will never change. So if you lose it, don’t worry, it happens to the best of us 😅 – you’ll be re-sent the same number. 

What does a UTR number look like?

UTR numbers are ten digits long and they sometimes have the letter K at the end. Fun fact – when you pay your tax bill by bank transfer, you have to add a K to the end of your UTR to use it as the payment reference. OK, maybe that wasn’t as fun as we thought 👀

How do I get my UTR number?

Here’s how to get a UTR number. First off, be aware that once you get your UTR number sent to you, there’s still more to do. 

Your UTR number needs to be activated as well so don’t forget to follow all five of these steps:

  1. Register for HMRC’s online service – make sure you have these bits to hand 👇
    • National Insurance number
    • Home address 
    • The date you launched your self-employed business
    • Business address and phone number
  2. HMRC send your UTR number in the post (usually takes ~ 10 working days)
  3. Enrol for Self Assessment
  4. HMRC will send your UTR activation code in the post (also usually takes ~ 1 week)
  5. Activate your account to access Self Assessment
    • You have 28 days to use it before it expires

I think I lost my UTR number – where do I find it?

If you’re not a first timer and you’ve previously registered for Self Assessment, here’s where you can find your UTR number:

  1. Front page of previous tax returns
  2. Self Assessment documents that HMRC has sent you (notices to file a return, payment reminders, etc.)
  3. Your HMRC online account under the Self Assessment section

When will I need my UTR number?

  • Filing a Self Assessment tax return, either by yourself or through an accountant (including TaxScouts)
  • When you claim a tax relief or benefit
  • When you contact HMRC

Not sure where to begin?

Get in touch with us for some simple, one-off tax advice from one of our accredited accountants. You can learn more here

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