No UTR? A guide to your options

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Rebecca Benneyworth
Rebecca Benneyworth Training Consultants
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Our summary article looks at all of the issues relating to taxpayers without a UTR and sets out your best course of action for a range of situations

Self employed taxpayer

In the case of a self employed taxpayer without a UTR it is likely that he has a failure to notify issue. If the taxable source had been notified on CWF1 (send to Longbenton) by 5 October as required it is likely that the UTR would have been issued by now. The UTR fast track facility will not operate this year (more details on this below).

So : Step 1 is to calculate the tax due and ensure that this is paid by the end of January. This ensures that the failure to notify penalty, which is tax geared, is zero. Payment without a UTR should be made using a downloadable payslip (...

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By bjn
16th Jan 2010 18:21


The main article given in answer to this issue is a very good summary but I would add that my experience is that "No UTR" cases are not confined to tax payer, or agent, failing to deal with notification and do occur where HMRC have not acted upon a notification. Where this occurs there is usually additional cost to the taxpayer and early action is preferred and to avoid the possible "new customer" suspense account allocation of a payment the payment, or notification thereof, should be made via the local district office, if it still exists, or the regional office perhaps at the same time as dealing with notification or reminder thereon.

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By Anonymous
17th Jan 2010 21:20


Thank you for this really useful article

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By Anonymous
18th Jan 2010 12:50

No UTR for 2009 Self Assessment Return

I have a client who became bankrupt earlier in February 2009.  He has been advised he needs to submit a 2009 tax return and has made a taxable loss for the year to 31 March 2009.  I am unable to use his old UTR number as it "belongs" to The Official Receiver and am still waiting for a new one to be allocated but this has not yet happened despite numerous phonecalls.  What is the best approach to take so that my client does not incurr any penalties ? 

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18th Jan 2010 17:28

No partnership UTR

Our problem is that we have a UK trading partnership with no UTR. Both partners were already in the self assessment system and advised HMRC of self employed status by telephone and have paid Class 2 NICs. No CWF1 was submitted and neither partner was instructed that one should have been submitted.

A CWF1 has now been submitted, but no UTR has been issued.

Assuming that the UTR is still not available by 31 January can the partners enter profit details in notes or other income so that they can file their individual returns on time.

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18th Jan 2010 17:45

Partnership CWF1

In the circumstances Ian describes, I've just had the partnership CWF1 sent back "because all the partners already have NIC notification" . 





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19th Jan 2010 09:55

No partnership UTR

I submitted form 64-8 for a new partnership together with forms CWF1 for the partners (all of who already have utr's) and have now heard back from the Revenue saying that the partnership 64-8 cannot be accepted because there is no tax reference.  They want me to return it with CWF1's!

Clearly, the documents I sent have been separated by some idiot and now they want me to repeat what I have already done.  I have now obtained a phone number for CAAT but guess what, I can't get through!

Still, that probably comes as no surprise given the shockingly low call answer rate published last week. 

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19th Jan 2010 10:44

CAAT telephone line

I got a speedy reply when I telephoned CAAT yesterday, but it went downhill from there. I was trying to get an explanation as to why my attempt to use the electronic authorisation facility had failed. The guy who answered the phone kept insisting that this was because there wasn't a 64-8 in place.

I then tried SA technical support who told me that we are in fact already registered as agents (which is what we thought all along and is probably why the electronic authorisation failed) but the system wasn't "correctly flagged".

Another 15 minutes of my life wasted, I don't think that I can justify charging the client.

When trying to resolve my original issue about filing returns without a UTR for a partnership I was advised that as long as the partners paid the tax due by 31 January late filing penalties onthe returns (including the partnership return) would be reduced to £nil. I understood that the £100 per partner was not mitigate.


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28th Jan 2010 19:34

Paying tax doesn't stop partnership late filing penalties

I agree with you - the partnership late filing penalty will still be charged even if tax has been paid. At least the partners who have paid tax will have penalties reduced to £nil.  Partnership may have case for 'reasonable excuse' mitigation.

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Non Resident Corporate Partner UTR

I have an LLP with a non resident corporate partner (Swedish AB). How do you get a UTR in this instance?

In the interim I will try writing to CAAT at Longbenton and settle down for a three month wait.

I second all the pejorative comments about the 'Helplines'...... worse than useless ...if they were not there at least you would know you were on your own instead of thinking that help was available!

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18th Jan 2011 10:00

Sole trader business becomes partnership but can't make progress

I am not making any headway obtaining a UTR for our partnership.  We both already have UTRs relating to us but not one for the partnership.  My paper tax return submitted in September was rejected because no partnership UTR, a paper partnership I downloaded from HMRC site and submitted in same envelope the Revenue claim no knowledge of.  I have phoned Revenue about 4 times, each time taking best part of an hour waiting etc., only to be sent round in circles.  Have written regarding Class 2 NIC which took several months to sort out, written to 2 separate tax offices regarding UTR - tax office unable to comment or give information over the phone.

Wondering now whether to input partnership income as other income on-line and resubmit a paper return for partnership with covering letter.  Any ideas?


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04th Jan 2013 12:46

In my case I did notify them that I was a sole trader, but was then told that they couldn't issue a UTR because I was on sickness related benefit at the time, and I needed to get in touch with the DWP. I gave up on setting up my business for a while as it seemed too complicated (it was my attempt to do some sort of work after a long time out) and nothing further came from them for that tax year, not even a paper return.

When I finally went ahead with a business two years later, but in a different field, I notified them/registered it, received a paper tax return and UTR. However they then tried to charge me penalty fees for the previous two years even though there was never a UTR, and never a business. I had to appeal it and explain to them what the circumstances were.

So lack of UTR isn't always down to a failure to notify. My honesty and willingness to notify bit me on the bottom in my case!

More recently I had to move home very quickly under dire circumstances, everything is packed away in storage and any paperwork with my UTR on it has disappeared off the face of the earth. I do have some HMRC paperwork to hand, inc. letters, but none of it has my UTR on it. Since they won't give them over the phone I'm having a nightmare trying to get hold of it, so I can find out my User ID and password (it's been that long since I've been able to log in...) and submit this year's return!

They do make it difficult - I have no idea why I need so many user numbers. Surely one or the other would suffice? And if you haven't got one, you can't use the other. The student loan company are the same way - all kinds of user ids and secret answers and questions. I'm in my early 30s and use the internet all the time, so it's not like I'm an inexperienced old fuddy duddy with online services.

I've just emailed the online helpdesk with what I think might be my UTR - in reference box on Payslip they attached to reminder letter. It's ten digits minus the letter at the end and it looks familiar. Fingers crossed. Either way, they have my NINO and other details so that might be enough to give me my ID and password.

It's so annoying because I'd have done it by now!

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