Your Unique Tax Reference (UTR)

March 12, 2024

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This guide was last updated on:
March 12, 2024

In order to file a self-assessment tax return, you'll need to obtain a Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number. This is a ten-digit number issued by HMRC when you register for self-assessment. It's a critical part of managing your tax affairs.

Here's how you can get ready to file your self-assessment and obtain your UTR:

  1. Register online for HMRC services. This is your first step toward entering the self-assessment system.
  2. Enroll for self-assessment. During this process, you indicate to HMRC that you need to file a tax return.
  3. Receive an activation code by post. HMRC will send you this code, which is necessary for completing your enrollment. Note that the activation code expires after 28 days, so it's important to use it promptly.
  4. Activate the service using the code. Once activated, you'll have access to the HMRC online services needed to file your return.

Your UTR is not only essential for filing self-assessment but also may be required when you apply for tax relief or benefits, or if you need to contact HMRC for any queries related to your taxes.

If you ever forget your UTR, you can find it by logging into your HMRC online service. It's also located on the front of any official documentation you've received from HMRC related to self-assessment, as well as on the front page of your previous tax returns.

Remember, the process of managing your tax affairs starts with obtaining your UTR. Ensure you keep this number safe and readily accessible for all your tax-related activities.

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