Unique taxpayer reference (UTR)

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on February 21, 2024.


The unique taxpayer reference (UTR) is a identification number assigned to individuals and organisations in the UK for tax purposes. 

What is a unique taxpayer reference?

The UTR is a 10-digit alphanumeric code assigned to individuals, partnerships, trusts, and other entities registered for tax purposes in the UK. It is unique to each taxpayer and remains unchanged throughout the taxpayer’s lifetime, even if their circumstances or tax obligations change.

The primary purpose of the UTR is to facilitate the administration of taxes and ensure accurate record-keeping by providing a unique identifier for each taxpayer. It is used by HMRC to track tax liabilities, process tax returns, and manage communication with taxpayers.

The UTR is typically assigned automatically by HMRC when a taxpayer registers for tax purposes or files their first tax return. For individuals, it may be included in the welcome pack sent by HMRC upon registration for self-assessment tax. For entities such as companies or partnerships, the UTR may be provided when registering for corporation tax or other relevant taxes.

Taxpayers can find their UTR on various HMRC documents, including:

  • Self-assessment tax returns
  • HMRC correspondence and notices
  • Online tax accounts and portals managed by HMRC

Example of a unique taxpayer reference

If John Doe operates a small business in the UK, HMRC would issue him a UTR such as “1234567890”. This unique code is used to identify John’s tax records, filings, and communications with HMRC.

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