What is a Unique Taxpayer Reference?

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Josh Guthrie
Co-Country Manager
Expert in commerce optimisation and international expansion

Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number is a special 10-digit code that identifies a business or individual when they are filing taxes in the UK. But your Unique Taxpayer Reference number isn't just for tax returns. If you have an accountant or bookkeeper for your business, they may also need access to your UTR.

Here's all you need to know about Unique Taxpayer Reference numbers, including how to use and share yours safely. 

Self-Assessment citizens and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) use the UTR to recognise citizens and their associated taxation records. In structure, it is a 10-digit number, which sometimes ends in 'K'.

UTR numbers can identify certain people (such as self-employed merchants) and organisations for taxation purposes. Similar to your National Insurance number, you get one UTR number, which does not change for your entire life.

On the off chance that you are in a business partnership or have recently set up a limited organisation, you require a UTR for yourself, your colleague (for a partnership), and your new business, all of which are needed when documenting any assessment form.

Reasons to have a UTR Number

The period when you absolutely ought to have a UTR is when you are recording a taxation form, pursuing the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), or working with somebody who deals with funds on your behalf (like a bookkeeper).

For charge discount claims, you have to send HMRC a Self-Assessment tax return, assuming you are undertaking costs of over £2,500. That implies pursuing the Self-Assessment framework, so you'll need a UTR to get your cash.

Another instance is when you are a salaried professional and your employer operates a PAYE, but you have other cash coming in (from a lease, for example). HMRC could be expecting Self-Assessment taxation returns from you. Once more, that implies enlisting for the framework and getting a UTR to remain inside the regulations (the lack of which could result in fines or criminal punishments.)

Business associations additionally need UTRs, both for the actual organisation and each accomplice included.

Why do you want a UTR number?

Since this number is simply given to people who need to make a Self-Assessment, HMRC uses it to check whether you met your commitments as a Self-Assessment citizen and to match the tax returns instalments you made. However, while it is only Self-Assessment citizens who use these numbers, a UTR number is not a confirmation of one's possession of a business. 

The government requires the entities below to file Self-Assessments:

  • Independently employed sole dealers

  • Limited company board

  • The individuals who owe Capital Gains taxation charge on profits and investment funds

  • High earners (those earning above £100,000 monthly)

Besides requiring the UTR number to document (and make instalments on account towards) your Self-Assessment, you likewise need it when pursuing the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), or when working with somebody who deals with your funds on your behalf.

What is the most effective method to get your UTR number?

The most widely recognised method of enlisting for Self-Assessment is online through the HMRC website that will later send you a letter containing your UTR number. As indicated by HMRC, this can take as long as 20 days. HMRC will send the number by post. However, before this happens, you have to pass several web-based security checks.

To enrol for a UTR number, you need to offer relevant personal details such as your name, date of birth, National Insurance number, mobile contact and email address, telephone and street number, business phone number, the date you became independently employed, and your business' outlook.

Where to find your UTR number

Assuming this is your first time making a Self-Assessment, your UTR will show up on the SA250 document you get when you register as independently employed, or on your most memorable correspondence from HMRC whenever you consolidate your organisation. Going ahead, you can observe your UTR number on the following documents:

  • Past taxation forms

  • Notification to record

  • Instalment updates from HMRC

  • Your statements

You can likewise check your UTR number online using your web-based account on the HMRC site, or contact HMRC. For a limited corporation director, check your organisation's UTR number on HMRC archives, for example, the CT603 or your notification to convey a Company Tax return.

Sharing Unique Taxpayer Return numbers

Like National Insurance numbers, UTR numbers are highly discreet, but there are a couple of conditions wherein you ought to give your Unique Taxpayer Reference to somebody other than HMRC. 

The most common of these conditions is when your bookkeeper needs to follow up for your sake. They may require your UTR number to present your taxation forms or contact HMRC.

Another condition where you could share your UTR number is when you are a subcontractor enlisted for CIS. Contractors may need to confirm their subcontractors, and the confirmation cycle requires a couple of snippets of data, including the subcontractor's UTR number. Besides these two popular conditions, there rarely are other instances when sharing your UTR number with any other person is recommended.

Note: Criminals and other malicious people have in the past used UTR numbers for data fraud, so be cautious when anybody requests that you share yours without valid justification.

What next after losing your UTR number?

You can find your lost UTR number on past assessment forms and instalment updates from HMRC, as well as in your web-based HMRC account. When you do not have duplicates of any reports from HMRC and cannot access your web-based account, contact the HMRC Self-Assessment helpline.

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Absconding your tax payment duties is a serious offence that is criminally punishable in the UK. This makes it important to know how to obtain and use your UTR number to straighten out your tax issues and set your business up for success. This is especially critical when working with other financial entities, such as Mollie. 

Mollie is a transaction entrepreneurial leader and one of Europe's fastest-growing payment service providers (PSP). Our dedication to expansion allows us to push the financial services industry ahead, and our simple payment system assists organisations in staying ahead of the curve.

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