If you are an investor and you earn above £1000, it is highly likely that you will need to submit a self assessment tax return. Before you do that though, you will need to make sure you have what is known as a Unique Taxpayer Reference Number (UTR). It's important to do this in advance of submitting your self assessment tax return. We give you all the details in this little guide.
A Unique Taxpayer Reference number is a code used by HMRC to identify self-employed people and their companies for tax purposes.
Often referred to as a UTR number, this number gives HMRC an easy way to track your tax obligations and match your records to payments.
Just like your National Insurance, once you have this number it stays with you for life.
And if you’re trying to find it, your UTR number has 10 digits and sometimes has a ‘K’ at the end. It can be labelled as your tax reference’ number or ‘official use’, so keep an eye out for those.
You’ll need a UTR number if you submit a self-assessment tax return.
And if you submit a self-assessment tax return it’ll be because
If you’re in the side-hustle game and you earn over £1,000 from it then you’ll need to do a self-assessment tax return all the same.
When you’re submitting a self-assessment tax return it’s worth making sure you’ve definitely put the number in correctly. Entering the wrong UTR number is one of the most common mistakes made each year and can actually get you a fine if HMRC don’t think you’re taking enough care.
For the self-employed, you have to self-register for a UTR number as you’re not automatically given one.
There’s two ways you can do this:
Both these options are free. Although doing it in the Earnr app it keeps it all in one place with your business transactions and income.
When applying through HMRC there’s three ways you can apply for your UTR number:
Pay As You Earn and Self Assessment, HM Revenue and Customs, United Kingdom, BX9 1AS
Post is likely to take a while as there’ll be some back and forth with more requests for information and proof of identity.
An important thing to remember is that it takes 10 days to receive your number as HMRC send it by post, so the sooner you apply the better! If you’re working abroad then it takes 21 days.
If you’re not sure if you have one, or have lost it then give HMRC a ring on 0300 200 3310. Just make sure to have your National Insurance number ready to hand.
The number should also be in your Government Gateway portal in the top right-hand corner of your account summary.
Otherwise you can check any correspondence you've received from HMRC. Your tax return should show the number distinctly in the top left corner and appear: UTR 1234567891.
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