A company’s Unique Taxpayer Reference, or UTR, is a distinct 10-digit number that HMRC issues to all new limited companies. These UTRs are used to identify companies for all tax-related purposes.
You should keep a note of the Unique Taxpayer Reference because you will need it when you register for business taxes, file tax returns, and pay Corporation Tax.
How do I get a Unique Taxpayer Reference for my limited company?
Companies House will notify HMRC about your company’s existence when it is incorporated. There is no need to contact HMRC yourself at this stage.
Within 14 days of company formation, HMRC will send a letter to your registered office address with your company’s Unique Taxpayer Reference. It will be printed next to a heading like ‘UTR’, ‘Tax reference’ or ‘Official use’. The letter will also explain how and when to register for business taxes.
How do I tell HMRC my company is now active?
When you start trading, you will need your Unique Taxpayer Reference to register as ‘active’ for Corporation Tax. This should be done within 3 months of starting any kind of business activity.
The most straightforward way to do this is to use HMRC’s online registration service.
Before you start, you will need your Government Gateway user ID and password, and of course your 10-digit UTR number. You can also apply by post and your letter should be signed by a company director or the company secretary and include the following information:
- Company name and company registration number (CRN)
- Principal address where business activities are conducted
- The name and home address of all company directors
- Type of business activities carried out
- Date your business started trading
- Date your annual accounts will be made up to
This information will enable HMRC to work out your accounting period and deadlines for paying Corporation Tax and delivering company tax returns.
If your company is dormant, you should inform your local Corporation Tax office by phone or letter.
Where can I find my company’s UTR?
Your Unique Taxpayer Reference is printed on the letter you receive from HMRC shortly after registering your limited company and is available within online services.
It will also be displayed on all other forms of official correspondence from HRMC, including the ‘Notice to deliver a Company Tax Return’ and payment reminders.
What if I cannot find my company’s UTR?
You can ask for a copy of your limited company’s UTR online using the GOV.UK website and HMRC will send it to you by post to the company’s registered office address as displayed at Companies House.
Please note, you will require to know your company registration number and registered company name before starting the process.
Can I use my own Unique Taxpayer Reference number as my company’s UTR?
Personal UTRs are issued by HMRC to anyone who is registered for Self Assessment. These are completely different to the Unique Taxpayer Reference numbers issued to companies, so you cannot use your own UTR for your company.
As soon as your company formation application has been approved, your business exists as an entirely separate legal entity. This means that it requires its own Unique Taxpayer Reference.
Your personal UTR can only be used by you as an individual when you file Self Assessment tax returns and pay Income Tax and NIC on your personal income.