HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) deals with the tax affairs of all individuals and businesses in the UK. In doing so, it’s crucial that they’re able to identify every taxpayer correctly.

Those in employment under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system are easy to recognise since there’s a constant paper trail.

But those who are self-employed or business owners must be issued a UTR number. A UTR number is an essential piece of information that self-employed workers must have to file important documents. But how can one find it?

That’s what we’ll explain in this article, along with what a UTR number is, how to get one, and more.

You can find your UTR number online in your Personal Tax Account, on the HMRC app, or on tax documents such as previous tax returns you’ve filed, letters for payment reminders, and your tax account statement. 

The quickest way will be to check your online tax account. But if you can’t access it for whatever reason, you can always contact HMRC to send you your UTR number by post.

In the event that you’re unable to access your Personal Tax Account online and you have misplaced your documents, the best course of action is to contact HMRC. 

Unfortunately, they won’t be able to tell you your UTR number over the phone for security reasons and will instead post it out to your registered address which you should receive within ten working days.

This can be quite inconvenient, particularly if you need to file your Self Assessment before the deadline or require your UTR number urgently. 

This is why it’s recommended to write it down somewhere and keep it safe.

A UTR number – your Unique Taxpayer Reference number – is a 10-digit code used by HMRC to identify you or your business’s tax affairs. 

Sometimes called your ‘tax reference’ or ‘personal tax reference’, it is unique to every individual or business and is often required by HMRC to verify they’re speaking to the correct person.

Without a UTR number, HMRC will be unable to link the thousands of tax returns it receives each year with the correct individuals or companies. Plus, it allows them to verify whether the information you’ve provided is in line with previous tax returns and the information it has on its tax records.

So whether you are a sole trader, freelancer, or owner of a limited company, you will need a UTR number. To good thing is that you don’t need to do much on your end to receive it – and it’s free.

If you are unsure of how to get your number, then check our guide on how to apply for a UTR number.

Yes, businesses also receive a UTR number. Much like individuals, the tax affairs of a business must also be verifiable, and the only way to do that is by issuing a 10-digit limited company UTR number.

Businesses require this when they’re filing a company tax return, paying Corporation Tax, and accessing their tax records. This, too, should remain private and only be disclosed to assigned representatives dealing with the company’s tax affairs.


Your UTR number is a unique 10-digit number that HMRC uses to identify you and your tax records. The easiest way to find it is by accessing your Personal Tax account online. It will be highlighted in the ‘Summary’ and ‘Self-Assessment’ sections.

It’s also printed on any official documents related to your tax returns, payment reminders, and statements.