Obtaining a UTR For HMRC From Abroad

Living abroad but unsure how to apply for your Unique Taxpayer Reference? You're in the right place. This article will guide you through the process of obtaining your UTR number if you're living overseas.

Arjun Kumar
Arjun Kumar
Oct 13, 2023

Obtaining a UTR For HMRC From Abroad

Wondering how to apply for a Unique Taxpayer Reference number (UTR number) with no UK presence? If you have any income source in the UK while living abroad, you need a unique taxpayer identification number to complete your self-assessment. In this blog, we will take you through an understanding of a UTR number and how you can apply for it while living abroad. Registering can be difficult, as you can’t register online through the HMRC portal without a UK address.

What is a UTR Number?

UTR refers to a “Unique Taxpayer Reference”, which indicates the tax identity of a business entity or a person in the UK. HMRC allows each self-assessment taxpayer a UTR number through which they can track their tax records.

If you want to complete your self-assessment, you will need this crucial reference number. Whether you own a company, are self-employed, or are a sole trader, this UTR number will help complete your tax returns.

So what does your UTR number look like? It is a ten-digit number that goes like this:

UTR number: 2715156402

Do You Need UTR Number as a UK Non-resident?

Do you really need a UTR number if you live abroad? The answer is Yes! If you are a UK non-resident but have some earnings in the UK, you would need to complete your self-assessment, which cannot be filed without a UTR number.

So if you live in a foreign country but have UK sourced income e.g. rental property in the UK, you should have your UTR number with you.

If you do not live in the UK and want to complete a self-assessment, you need to fill in the SA1 form. This form must be downloaded, printed, and posted to HMRC. As you have a foreign, non-UK address this form can not be submitted online, you have to post it to HMRC directly.

But what if you are living outside the UK and want your UTR number?

How to Apply for a UTR Number From Abroad?

If you are a sole trader or self-employed in the UK and your earning is more than 1000 GBP, you need to complete your self-assessment with HMRC. Here is a process for getting your UTR number from HMRC:

  • Visit the HMRC’s official website and access your Business Tax Account
  • Register for self-assessment along with your class 2 national insurance.
  • Log in using your national gateway ID.
  • Add some basic information along with your business or self-employment details.
  • Submit your self-assessment registration.

After successful registration, it takes up to 15 days to receive your UTR number if you live in the UK. However, HMRC may take up to 21 days if you live abroad. You will get a letter containing your UTR number within the expected timeframe.

Note that this procedure applies if you are registering your self-assessment for the first time. After that, you will use this UTR number to file for future tax returns.

Have You Lost Your UTR Number?

If you have lost your UTR number, you can easily find it on;

  • HMRC app
  • Previous tax returns
  • Personal Tax Account
  • Other HMRC documents, such as payment reminders or file return notices

Self-assessments can be challenging via the HMRC website as there are certain limitations. For instance, SA109 non-residence self-assessment form can not be directly submitted through the HMRC website. You can only submit it via online HMRC-registered software, like Taxd.

Also read: A Guide to Completing Your Self Assessment

Final Words

UK expats can easily get their UTN number from HMRC if they have earnings in the UK in the form of self-employment, a business, or a partnership. This form will subsequently be used to complete your self-assessment returns.

If you are looking for a seamless platform to submit your self-assessment returns, an intuitive and robust software solution is here to ease your tax obligations. You would not have to deal with complications as taxd will apply for your tax returns with full compliance. Visit our website today!

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