With the self assessment deadline approaching many people are taking action to gather their information together in preparation for filing their personal tax returns to HMRC.

Are you one of them?

As part of this process you will need to dig out your UTR, along with all the details of your earnings and income.

What is a UTR?

UTR stands for your Unique Taxpayer Reference.  It is made up of 10 numbers, for example 1234567890, and can be found on documentation issued by HMRC such as:

  • the Tax Return (SA100),
  • a ‘Notice to complete a Tax Return’ (SA316)
  • or a Statement of Account.


Depending on the type of document issued the reference may be printed next to the headings

  • ‘Tax Reference’,
  • ‘UTR’
  • or ‘Official Use’.


HMRC will use your UTR number to identity you and your tax records and will link any payments you make with the tax returns you’ve filed.

What if your UTR number has gone astray?

If you’ve lost your UTR, or the above correspondence, your best option is to call the HMRC helpline on 0300 200 3310.

During the call you will need to pass a number of security checks, one of these will be to verify your National Insurance number so it’s best to have this to hand before you make the call.

Once you’ve confirmed your identity HMRC will post your UTR to you, which can take up to 7 days – important to remember if the deadline is looming!

Late filing penalties

Missing the 31st January deadline can be costly, starting with a £100 automatic penalty.

Unlike some HMRC departments very few late filing excuses for personal tax returns result in the penalties being overturned (read our blog – late filing excuses that don’t work!) so the best approach is to take action early and file your tax return on time.

Help is available

If you are struggling to work out what to do then we at A4C can help.

Our pay monthly clients have their personal tax returns completed and filed for them as part of our all-inclusive service but we do offer this service as a stand alone option for others.

For more information call 01737 652 852.