How to Find Your UTR Number Online

Trying to find your UTR number? Wondering if your UTR number is still active? Then you’re in the right place! Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) Number is a 10 digit number that HMRC issued to you when you registered as self-employed. Your UTR number is unique to you and highly confidential, just like your National Insurance number, but for that reason, retrieving it may be a bit more tricky than you anticipate. In this guide, I’ll explain how you can check your UTR number and answer questions self-employed business owners have often asked me about their UTR number.

Updated 25 January 2022

Friendly Disclaimer: Whilst I am an accountant, I’m not your accountant. The information in this article is legally correct but it is for guidance and information purposes only. Everyone’s situation is different and unique so you’ll need to use your own best judgement when applying the advice that I give to your situation. If you are unsure or have a question be sure to contact a qualified professional because mistakes can result in penalties.

1. What is a UTR Number?

UTR stands for Unique Taxpayer Reference and it is a 10 digit tax reference number that HMRC issues to UK individuals who are registered for self-assessment.

Don’t have a UTR number? Read this guide to find out how to get one >>

2. How to Find Your HMRC UTR Number Online

The simplest way to find your UTR online in your .GOV tax account.  This is the online account you set up when you registered as self-employed. When you log in, you’ll be able to see your tax returns, reminders from HMRC and other information like your SA302.

When you are inside your .GOV you’ll be able to find your unique taxpayer reference either:

  • Within the self assessment section;
  • The top right-hand corner of your account summary.

3. How to Find Your UTR on HMRC Correspondence

As well as being able to find your UTR number online, you’ll find it on any correspondence you have from HMRC. They use your tax reference number as a way to identify you on their systems to access your personal information. HMRC will always use it as a reference on the letters they send to you.

If you have any correspondence from HMRC then you should be able to find your UTR number on your:

  • Your HMRC Tax Return;
  • HMRC Statement of Account;
  • Payment Reminders or Late Payment Letters;
  • Your SA250 which is a letter issued by HMRC when you first registered as self-employed.

4. How to Find Your Unique Taxpayer Reference By Phone

If you are struggling to find your UTR number online, then your best bet is to call HMRC on 0300 200 3310. You can then request your unique taxpayer reference number over the phone.  Remember, when you call HMRC you’ll need to confirm your identity so you’ll need your National Insurance number in addition to your personal details.

Given the confidential nature of your UTR, HMRC will need to send it out to you by post. Therefore, you should be aware that it can take up to 7 days to arrive.

5. Sharing Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)

Your UTR number is a highly confidential piece of information so you should never share it unless you’re certain it’s for the right reasons. For example:

  • You are a CIS subcontractor and your contractor has requested it to confirm how much tax they should withhold, although you’ll get credit for any tax on your CIS tax return;
  • They are a professional, such as an accountant with the authority to act on your behalf.

If you are unsure whether your UTR number is valid or you need to check it, then always contact HMRC first on 0300 200 3310.

6. How Can I Check a Tax Reference Number?

You can check a UTR number by calling HMRC on 0300 200 3310 or by going online. UTR numbers are highly confidential since they are used by HMRC as part of the identification process when accessing information about an individuals taxes. If you are a CIS contractor and need to check a UTR number, then you’ll need to verify subcontractors by:

7. Is My HMRC UTR Number Still Active?

As long as you have not de-registered as self-employed it will still be active. It’s good for you to know that it will last for as long as you remain registered as self-employed.

8. Can I Reactivate an Old Unique Taxpayers Reference?

No, a UTR cannot be reactivated. Say you decided to go self-employed and then deregistered because you went back into full-time employment. If you decided you wanted to go back to self-employment you’ll have to register as a sole trader again and wait for HMRC to send you a new code.

If you had not deregistered and continued to submit a tax return while you were employed, you’ll won’t need to ask for a new UTR number. You’ll then need to declare any new self-employment earnings when you fill in your next tax return.

9. Where Do I Find My Limited Company UTR Number?

Your limited company UTR is different from your personal one. So if you have been asked for this reference and have a Limited Company you should clarify which one is required before you give it to anyone. You’ll find your Limited Company reference on all Corporation Tax letters sent to you by HMRC.

If you cannot find it, call the HMRC Corporation Tax Return helpline on 0300 200 3410.

10. What Happens if You’re Self-Employed and Receive Two UTR Numbers

If you have received two different tax reference numbers then you must contact HMRC online quickly. HMRC will think you are two separate people! You should only ever have one code otherwise HMRC will expect more than one tax return and if you fail to send both in you’ll be issued with an automatic penalty. You’ll be able to appeal but there is no guarantee that HMRC will squash the charge. So, if you have more than one call the HMRC helpline on 0300 200 3310 as soon as possible to avoid any problems later on.

About Anita Forrest

Anita Forrest is a Chartered Accountant, spreadsheet geek and money nerd helping financial DIY-ers organise their money so they can hit their goals quicker.