If you are a newly formed limited company or just starting out being self-employed, there are lots of “jargon” or accounting terms that you will come across and will need to know. UTR number is one term that all sole traders, company directors, and limited companies need to know.  

What is a UTR Number?

UTR stands for Unique Tax Reference, and as it is a numeric reference, it is commonly known as the Unique Tax Reference Number or UTR Number. Every self-employed person, be they a sole trader, or a company director, will be allocated a UTR number by HMRC when they register as self-employed. The easiest way to think of it is they are much like a national insurance number, only for tax instead of national insurance.
UTR numbers are allocated to limited companies, too, when they form their company and register for corporation tax.  

UTR Number

Do I Need a UTR Number?

If you are a sole trader, company director, or have been asked to submit a Self Assessment Tax Return by HMRC, you need a Unique Reference Number. If none of those applies, it is unlikely that you will require one.

How Do I Apply for a UTR Number?

Thankfully, HMRC makes applying for a Unique Tax Reference number pretty easy. You can do so online by heading over to register for Self-Assessment. You will need the following details to hand:

  • Name, DOB and your address
  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Your email address and primary phone number
  • The date you first became self-employed
  • Your business name, address and the industry you work in
  • Your business phone number

Once registered, your UTR number will be posted to you. This can take ten working days but always allow extra time as things can be delayed.

What to Do if You’ve Lost Your Unique Reference Number

We all misplace things from time to time; you know, in that safe place, never to be found again! If you cannot locate your UTR number on any paperwork from HMRC, you can log in to your online self-assessment account and find it there. If you do not have access to this, you will need to call HMRC and ask them to send you a copy.

Is My Unique Reference Number the Same as My Limited Companies?

No. HMRC issues personal UTRs to anybody registered for self-assessment, whereas a company UTR number is separately assigned when your company is incorporated.
Here at RJF Accounting, we offer a wide range of services from VAT to payroll and everything in between. If you are struggling with your business’s tax codes and payroll, why not speak to us today?