Chapter 1

Understanding Unique Taxpayer Reference numbers

We explain what a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number is and who needs to use them.

UTR Numbers - Xero Tax

What is a UTR number?

A Unique Taxpayer Reference is a 10-digit number that helps HMRC to identify you or your business. In the same way that your smartphone identifies you by your thumbprint, a UTR number is HMRC’s way of identifying your tax account and matching your payment with your bill.

HMRC automatically issues a UTR number when you register for self-assessment. Depending on your business status, you might have a UTR number as an individual, as well as a separate UTR number for your business entity.

Self-employed people and landlords need to use their UTR number to submit returns, pay their tax bills, or work with an accountant. Self-employed people under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) will need a UTR number to register for a tax refund.

You’ll need to use your UTR number throughout your self-employment, so make sure you take note of it. If you’ve never had a UTR number before, or need a quick refresher on how to use it, this chaptered guide will walk you through the basics.

Who needs a UTR number?

Anyone who files a self-assessment tax return needs a UTR number. This means self-employed people, landlords, limited companies, charities and trusts, and general partnerships.

If you want to register for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) tax refund, you’ll also need your UTR number. A UTR number is HMRC’s way of identifying you, so when it comes to submitting your returns, claiming a tax refund, or paying your bill, you’ll need to use yours.

Everything you need to know about Unique Tax Reference numbers (UTRs)

Our comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about Unique Tax Reference numbers (UTRs) for HMRC.

Start using Xero for free

Access Xero features for 30 days, then decide which plan best suits your business.

  • Included
    Safe and secure
  • Included
    Cancel any time
  • Included
    24/7 online support