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What is a Unique Taxpayer Reference?

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Let’s shed some light on what a unique taxpayer reference (UTR) actually is.

Ah the impenetrable world of taxes – it’s a puzzling mix of secret codes and special keys. A holiday in Mordor would be simpler than trying to find out which numbers mean what! With so many different numbers, codes and passwords it can be pretty easy to feel a bit out of your depth when it comes to knowing what everything means.

On that note, we’re going to clue you up on the ins and outs of a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). Lucky you!

What exactly is a UTR?

Well, it’s exactly what it says it is. It’s your unique 10-digit code that tells HMRC who you or your company are. You get one when you register for Self Assessment or if you set up a limited company- have a look at our blog post about the pros and cons of setting yourself up as a limited company for more information.

Your UTR tends to be the first bit of post you’ll receive after you initially register with HMRC. It can sometimes be referred to as a ‘tax reference’ which is where it can get confusing! A UTR is something totally different to a ‘Tax Reference Number’.

So, what is a Tax Reference Number (TRN)?

This number is given to employers or pension providers to identify their tax records with HMRC. In other words, it tells HMRC which company a taxpayer works for. The TRN is made up of three numbers followed by several numbers, letters or sometimes both – variety is indeed the spice of life. The first three numbers of the TRn indicate what tax office deals with that particular employer and the rest indicates the employer itself.

A TRN is found on employee documents like a payslip, P45 and a P60.  Generally, for the purpose of doing your personal or company’s taxes you won’t need this but make sure you keep it safe so you know for the future.

Still with us? Don’t worry if not – Mazuma will be happy to help with any questions you have. Contact us today to see how we can make your accounting a hassle-free process!

Noted. Now how do I find my UTR?

You can find your UTR in a few different places. As we’ve mentioned, you’ll have received it in the post when you first submitted your Self Assessment or first set up your limited company. So have a rummage in that folder you keep all your ‘important documents’ – you’ve probably put it there. Failing that, you’ll also find your UTR in any notices to file a return you might have had from HMRC. Generally they’ll put the number in the top right of your letter above or below your address. You can also find it in any communications you’ve had from HMRC to remind you of outstanding payments you need to make.

If you haven’t got one of these letters to hand then don’t worry too much, you can also find your UTR the digital way by logging in at

Right, but what do I do if none of that works for me?

Forgotten your login information to get your UTR? Can’t find any documents with your UTR on? It’s easily done. Fortunately, you can still get it by contacting HMRC directly.

If you’ve registered for Self Assessment then you can get in touch with HMRC various ways including a web chat service or a good old fashioned phone call. You’ll find all the up to date contact information you need here.

If you’re a limited company, you can ask for a copy of your corporation UTR online and HMRC will send you a copy in the post. You’ll need your company registration number and your registered company name to request one.

Gosh, that was hard work! That’s why here at Mazuma we offer the easiest possible solution to managing your accounts. We like making people’s tax affairs as simple as possible so why not call us or drop us a message to see how we can work together to make it all a bit easier.

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