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What is a Company Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) Number?

Corporation Tax
What is a Company Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) Number?
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A Unique Taxpayer Reference is a unique 10 digit code assigned by HMRC to a company. It is essential for a company to understand the function of its UTR

What is a UTR?

A Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) is a completely unique code used to identify the individual or legal entity that it has been assigned to by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).  It is used to communicate with HMRC about the company's corporation tax as well as charge the tax due to the legal entity.

When will I receive my company's UTR?

You will receive your company's UTR through the post as it is sent from HMRC to your Company’s Registered Address. It should arrive within 14 Days of the company being registered/incorporated, this is because Companies House will inform HMRC about the company being incorporated. 

Where can I find my UTR for my Legal Entity?

You can find your company's UTR on the letter that is sent to the company 14 days after your newly incorporated company is registered with Companies House.  It can also be found on all authentic tax correspondence from HMRC. Examples of authentic HMRC correspondence where you could find the UTR would be:

  • A Notice to Deliver a Company Tax Return
  • A Corporation Tax Payment Reminder
  • Previous Company Tax Returns 

*You would also be able find your company's UTR in its Government Gateway account but this will only be visible after the company has activated it Corporation Tax service*

Your UTR code may be referred to differently depending on the correspondence received. When looking for your UTR it could be referred to as each of the following headings: 

  • Reference 
  • UTR 
  • Official use

If you did not receive the code or cannot locate your company's UTR on the correspondence, do not worry as you can request a reminder to be sent to the Company's registered address. This can be done by going to the GOV.UK article about asking for a copy of your corporation tax UTR or you can call HMRC's Corporation Tax helpline ask for assistance with your UTR number:

  • Calls from within the UK: 0300 200 3410
  • Calls from outside the UK: +44 151 268 0571

The UTR should then arrive 10 days after the code has been requested.

How do you check that your UTR is valid?

You may wish to confirm if a UTR is in a valid format. If you are not sure whether your UTR is correct, we recommend using our UTR Validator which can be found by clicking on the link (this only confirms that the number is correctly formed - not that its a registered UTR). It is an incredibly helpful tool which can provide you with clarification and peace of mind that the UTR is correct.

What is the purpose of a UTR?

The main purpose of a UTR is to uniquely identify your company. You would need to provide the UTR when informing HMRC about any changes to your company's information because it is used to track & locate the company's records with HMRC. An example of when HMRC would request your company's UTR is if you wanted to inform them that the company is dormant.

In addition from being used to identify the company, the UTR is also essential for a company to:

Who should know my company UTR?

Your company's UTR is a very confidential piece of information for a company and it is essential to keep it secure. The only people who should know the company's UTR should be limited to a select few authorised personnel.

Included amongst the authorised personnel may be the company's Accountants, Financial Advisors or Tax Advisors. These parties may require the UTR in order to access the entities tax records and where relevant take control of the entities tax obligations. You will also need to use your UTR when using software to file a company tax return, VAT or PAYE return.

Is my UTR different to my VAT registration number?

As we now know you need the company's UTR to register your business for VAT. Once registered the company will be given a VAT registration number. This number is different to your company UTR. You can distinguish between the two as the UTR is a 10 digit numerical code where as the VAT registration number is made up of 2 letters (either 'GB' or 'XI') followed by 9 digits.  You will also need to display your VAT registration number on any invoices you issue.

Hopefully this article has answered any questions that you may have had about a Unique Taxpayer Reference Number. If you wish to find out more about incorporating a company I would recommend having a read through our Knowledge Base, here you can find plenty of helpful articles about the intricacies of starting a business. If you wish to incorporate your business you can do so here.

Author: Adam Parry

Adam is one of our Digital Accountants specialising in Small and Micro Accounting and Corporation Tax. He holds a First class Degree in Accounting and Finance and is an active contributor to our knowledge base articles. When not delivering a first class service he enjoys the ski slopes of Austria, dining and also has a keen intersting in classic cars.

Read All articles by Adam Parry
This article is information only and has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute legal, accounting, tax, investment or other professional advice or services. You should not act upon the information contained in this article without obtaining specific professional or legal advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this article, and, to the extent permitted by law, Comdal Limited, its members, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.

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