A UTR number (Unique Taxpayer Reference) is a ten digit number issued directly by HM Revenue & Customs, and is used to identify individual Tax payers within their system. UTR numbers are issued to individuals, companies, partnerships, trusts and other types of organisations. When you have registered with HMRC, they will usually issue you a UTR number automatically.
How do i get a UTR number?
It doesn’t take much work to get a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number. In fact, you’ll automatically be sent one when you:
- Register for self assessment
- Set up a limited company
If you are a Swift customer, we’ll get you all set up. If you aren’t you’ll need to fill out an HMRC SA1 form. Once registered you will receive a “Welcome to self assessment” letter (SA250) from HRMC that will show your UTR number.
The UTR can take a while to come through so make sure you leave enough time to apply a couple of months in advance so you can meet the filing deadline of 31st January. HMRC recommend you give yourself at least 20 working days to receive your number.
You will need to pass a series of security checks to allow HMRC to confirm your identity. Once this has been done they will post your UTR number to you which can take up to 7 days. This is the only way HMRC will send your UTR number to you, so get a move on if it’s approaching the tax return deadline!
If you have registered for HMRC’s online services they will send you an email confirming your login details. Once you log into the portal, you’ll be presented with your UTR number. When you have your UTR number, we’ll need you to tell us what it as as soon as you can. That way, Swift can complete your CIS tax returns or self assessment tax returns for you.
Where can I find my UTR number?
There are a number of ways of finding your UTR if you already have one. It’s 10 digits in length and is quoted on previous tax returns and other documents from HMRC, including:
- Your “Welcome to self assessment” letter (SA250)
- Your self assessment tax return
- Notice to file a tax return
- Statement of account
- Payment reminders
If you have registered for the online services area of the HMRC website you can log in and find your UTR number there. Talk to SWIFT if you need help.
What information do I need to register for a UTR number?
To register as self-employed and to get your UTR number, you will need to have all the following information to hand:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your National Insurance number
- Your date of birth
- A contact telephone number
- A contact email address
- The date your started as self-employed
- The type/nature of your business
- Your business address
- Your business telephone number
Why do I need a UTR number?
There are a number of circumstances when you might need your UTR number including:
- Completing your self assessment tax return
- CIS registration
- Working with an accountant or anyone who is managing financial affairs on your behalf
HMRC use this number to identify you as a self-employed tax payer. If you are earning money that isn’t taxed before you receive it from an employer (know as PAYE) it is essential that you register as self-employed with HMRC and receive a UTR Number.
If HMRC finds that you are operating as self-employed without having notified them you could be subject to heavy fines and potential criminal prosecution.
If your self assessment tax return is submitted without a valid UTR it will fail and you could be fined for not submitting a correct form by the deadline.
Business partnerships need a UTR for the firm and a UTR for each partner in order to file online.
What Can I Claim Tax Back On?
What can you claim back on Tax? Actually, quite a lot!
Here is a list of some of the items that you can claim a Tax rebate for:
- Mileage costs
- Travelling expenses
- Rail season tickets
- Other subsistence expenses
- Food (in certain circumstances)
- Professional subscription payments
- Cleaning costs for uniforms
This is not an exhaustive list, there are circumstances in which you could claim for other forms of expenditure.
What are the Deadlines?
Current legislation in the UK says you can go back up to four Tax years when claiming a Tax rebate. This means at the current moment in time you can make a claim for the following periods:
- Year ended 5th April 2016
- Year ended 5th April 2017
- Year ended 5th April 2018
- Year ended 5th April 2019
Effectively this means you can claim Tax relief from 6th April 2015. We understand that payslips and P60s can be misplaced during such a long length of time. This is not a problem and in most cases we can seek copies on your behalf from HMRC.
Am I Due Any Tax Back?
Lots of people are due a Tax rebate for items of expenditure that they would never have thought possible. For most of these areas of cost, HMRC do not know your situation and therefore cannot apply a repayment automatically. It is up to the Tax payer to let HMRC know of any Tax reliefs they may entitled to.
The problem is that claims are reviewed on a case by case basis. As an example, for some individuals travelling expenses may be allowed, for others, these costs may not be allowed.
The only sure way to know is to get in touch. With a no-obligation enquiry taking 5 minutes of your time, you have nothing to lose but potentially thousands to gain.
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