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My client has 2 UTR numbers

How do I get HMRC to merge two records as one person has 2 UTR numbers.

I have a new client (waiting for authorisation codes to arrive) who has all his income under CIS and is deducted tax at 20% on all income (approx. £23,000 for 16/17). Which in theory should result in an overpayment of around £700 before considering if there are any allowable expenses. HMRC have revised his entries on his 2016/17 tax return, (completed by previous accountant and therefore I don’t know what the original entries were at this point). A revised SA302 has been issued resulting in a balance of 16/17 tax to pay, payments on account for 17/18 and recovery of the refund issued after the original tax return was submitte

After reviewing his paper work I have discovered the following:

1. He has been issued with two UTR numbers. Original UTR number he had for previous self-employment period years back (A) & another issued when he resumed self-employment after a long spell of employment. (B)

2. A small amount of CIS tax deduction has been allocated to UTR (B) by some contractors, but the majority of the CIS tax deductions have been allocated to UTR (A) by contractors he sub-contracted to in his self-employment period of years ago as they just used the information they already had on file for him.

3. The tax return submitted used UTR (B)

Therefore, I’m 99.99% sure his entries on the original 16/17 tax return were revised by HMRC to only give him the CIS tax suffered under UTR (B) as they have possibly chosen his return randomly to verify the entries with the CIS returns they receive from contractors and therefore only checking the CIS records for UTR (B) because that was the UTR on the tax return.

I have today rung HMRC’s SA helpline with the client for him to pass the security questions before passing the phone to me. I tried explaining that the client has been issued with two UTR numbers and that their revised SA302 is wrong and that they have to look at the two records and merge them together and inform the client which UTR number to use going forward. All the person did was recite the numbers on the screen in front of them, telling me he has been given credit for CIS tax suffered but wouldn’t listen that this credit was the wrong amount. He told me that he wasn’t trained in CIS and eventually advised me to contact the CIS helpline which unfortunately isn’t open on a Sunday.

The client himself is a 63 year old gentleman who is going out of his mind with worry that he has to pay £4,725 immediately with the threat of penalties and interest if he doesn’t.

Incidentally when I started the online authorisation process both UTR numbers were valid with his current postcode and therefore I’m waiting for two separate codes to be issued to the client.

My question is:

Does anyone know who I should be contacting at HMRC to resolve this problem efficiently and quickly please.

Sorry for being long winded but tried to give as much information as I could. Hopefully I've not confused anyone.

Thanks for any insights.


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25th Feb 2018 18:02

Sounds like your client has been the architect of his own downfall.

If it weren't for the CIS tax, the job would be easy - just don't submit one of the returns. No-one is obliged to fill in two.

However, in this instance, I'd probably start with the CIS dept. Get them to transfer his CIS tax to a single UTR, then cancel the other.

Thanks (1)
to lionofludesch
25th Feb 2018 18:11

Thanks that is what I hope to do tomorrow. Just wondered if they might have been a different way round it.

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26th Feb 2018 15:06

Firstly pacify the client that all is well and not to panic. Then I would suggest that you wait until the Agent's code comes through, and then you can speak to the sensible folks on the Agent helpline. They will usually sort these out straightaway and designate which UTR is the one to use. Any penalties/interest/surcharges should magically disappear!

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28th Feb 2018 16:06

You could try ringing the helpline again, in the hope that you'll get someone better equipped to help you. I often do that. If you again get someone incompetent, demand to speak to their superior. It's worth a try, although not foolproof.
Alternatively get in touch with his MP asap.

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01st Mar 2018 16:02

I have over the years had several people with 2 UTR's although the commonest reason is an IVA or Bankruptcy. I found the agents help line fine, and they just closed of one add transferred the liability to the other, unless it was the insolvency route when obviously they could not.
Try ringing again and hope to get someone who has actually read the manual this time

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01st May 2018 16:07

person can have two UTR number ? for example one for his limited company and other one for self employed ?
Thank you in advance

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to kamozblack
01st May 2018 16:25


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