UTR Number

IMS is here to assist you with the completion of your self-assessment Tax Return. To give you a basic understanding of the whole process, here is a quick guide:

  • The tax year in the UK starts on 6 April and ends on the 5 April each year.
  • If you need to complete a Self Assessment Tax Return for the first time you need to register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). You will need to complete a form SA1 to obtain a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-assessment-register-for-self-assessment-and-get-a-tax-return-sa1
  • HMRC will send your UTR which is a 10 numeral reference number that is unique to self-assessment taxpayers.
  • HMRC will not advise you of your UTR Number over the telephone, so keep it safe.

National Insurance

How to Apply For a National Insurance Number

You pay National Insurance Contributions (NIC) if you are an employee or self-employed and you are aged 16 and over as long as your earnings are more than a certain level (see Tax Rates and Allowances).

You pay NIC to build up your entitlement to certain state benefits, including State Pension. The contributions you pay depend on how much you earn and whether you are employed or self-employed. You stop paying NIC when you reach State Pension age.

If, for whatever reason, you do not have a National Insurance (NI) number, and you intend to work in the UK you need to apply for one.

What is a NI number?

Your NI number is your own personal account number. The number makes sure that the NIC and tax you pay are properly recorded. Your entitlement to many state benefits depends on your NIC record. It also acts as a reference number when dealing with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

NI numbers are made up of letters and numbers. For example: QQ 12 34 56 A. Every NI number is different and is unique to you. Your NI number never changes even if you go abroad, marry, register as a civil partner, change your name etc.

It is important to keep your NI number safe. Do not disclose it to anyone who does not need it and this will help to prevent identity fraud.

When to apply for a NI number

You must apply for a NI number if:

  • You need claim benefits and/or tax credits
  • You have the right to work in the UK
  • You are entitled to and have applied for a student loan

You also have to provide a NI number if you open an Individual Savings Account (ISA).

How to apply for a NI number

If you have the right to work in the UK and you are looking for or starting work or setting up as self-employed you need to contact the Jobcentre Plus on 0845 600 0643 to apply for a NI number. Lines are open 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday.

If you are an EU national, Jobcentre Plus will arrange an Evidence of Identity (EOI) interview for you or send you a postal application. If relevant they will confirm the date, time and location of your interview and what information and documentation you need to support your application.

If you are a non-EU national you can avoid the need for an EOI. You need to advise the Jobcentre Plus that you are a non-EU national when you call them tell them. They will then ask you some questions to confirm your details, and will then post you out a form for you to complete. On receipt complete the form and return it to the Jobcentre Plus team, together with a copy of your passport. Your new NI number will be issued in 2 – 3 weeks.

What to Expect at a ‘Evidence of Identity’ interview

The interview will usually be on a one-to-one basis. You are able to have an interpreter present if necessary. You will be will be asked questions about why you need an National Insurance number, your background and circumstances.

You will have to prove your identity and you should take as many original (not photocopies) documents to the interview as possible. The documentation will include:

  • valid passport (UK or foreign)
  • national identity card (UK or foreign)
  • residence permit or residence card (including biometric immigration residency documents)
  • full birth certificate
  • adoption certificate
  • full marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • driving licence (UK or foreign)

The above list is not exhaustive and you should take as many identity documents as you can.
If you do not have any of these (or any other) identity documents, then you can still apply for a NI number. The information you supply will be checked and may be sufficient to prove your identity.

During the interview a NI number application form will be completed which you will be asked to sign.

After the interview if any additional information is required you need to provide this by the agreed date. Jobcentre Plus will then write and let you know whether your application has been successful or not. Where successful they will tell you what your NI number is. Where appropriate you should tell your employer your NI number as soon as you know it.

If you have the right to work in the UK and you are looking for or starting work or setting up as self-employed you need to contact the Jobcentre Plus on 0845 600 0643 to apply for a NI number. Lines are open 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday.

For detailed information on National Insurance see HM Revenue and Customs.

Self Assessment

A Self Assessment is a compulsory Tax Return issued by HMRC after the end of the financial year (5th April). This Return is a declaration of your earnings throughout the financial year. The Tax Return and any payment of tax and Class 4 NIC due has to be submitted to HMRC on or before 31 January each year. This time limit is for the online submission which we use. The 31 October deadline is for paper Returns.

When completed we will send the Return to you to confirm that it is complete and correct. In addition we will advise you of your liabilities to tax and NIC. Following receipt of your confirmation that the Return is complete and correct we will send the Return to HMRC online. HMRC will in turn send us confirmation that the Return has been received.

The Return and any payment of tax must be made on or before 31 January each year. Automatic penalties and interest will be charged for late payment. A 5% surcharge will apply if the payment is not received by 28 February. If the payment is still not received by 31 August another 5% surcharge will be due.

If HMRC send you a Return and you fail to send it back at some later stage they will issue a determination of the tax due. This is an estimate of the tax they think you owe. Only the submission of the Return can overturn the tax in charge.

HMRC have 12 months from the date of receipt of the Return to conduct an enquiry to check that the Return is complete and correct. Penalties of up to 100% of the tax lost are charged for the submission of incorrect Returns together with interest.

As a self-employed individual you have to pay Class 2 NIC of (currently) £3.00 a week; unless your profit for the year is below the Earnings Threshold. In such cases you can apply for exemption. Please ask us to send you the form to apply for exemption.

With effect from 6 April 2018 Class 2 NIC will be abolished and only the newly reformed Class 4 NIC will be due.

Who Needs To Do A Self Assessment?

  • A Director of a Limited Company (although not in every case)
  • A Self Employed individual
  • A person working through the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)
  • A higher income earner (fall in the 40% tax band)
  • Pensioners with complex tax affairs
  • Individuals who receive income from land or property in the UK
  • A Trustee or Personal Representative
  • Non-resident landlord

Information Required to Complete Self Assessment

PAYE or Company Directors
  • P45 – this contains details about your income and tax paid during a permanent position. If you leave your job during the tax year, your employer will issue you with the P45. You should keep part 1A of this form.
  • P60 – this contains details about your income and tax. Your employer should give you this by 31 May after the end of the tax year (if you were in your job at 5 April).
  • P11D – this contains details of certain reimbursed/taxable expenses and benefits in kind. Your employer should give you this by 6 July after the end of the tax year (if you were in your job at 5 April).
  • If you have received dividends, copies of your dividend certificates or records of your net dividends received
CIS Workers
  • CIS Vouchers, payslips or a proof of income – the vouchers need to be originals as they are sent off to HMRC together with the Tax Return.
  • Business expenses information, in order to calculate your tax liability. We can advise you on what business expenses and capital allowances that you can claim.
Land and Property Owners
  • Bank Statements showing us how much rent is paid to you each month or a copy of your lease agreement.
  • Expenses relating to your property rental. You will need to keep receipts for all your expenses in case HMRC request them. E.g. repairs done to the property, interest on your mortgage, legal and professional costs.

Personal Tax


Under the Self Assessment (see Self Assessment) system HM Revenue & Customs may require you to file a Tax Return at the end of each tax year (5 April). The completed Tax Return requires full details of all your income and capital gains (profits on sales of certain assets) and claims for tax allowances and reliefs.

Not everyone needs to file a Tax Return but if you do you need to be aware of the filing deadlines and penalty charges that arise for late filing.

For more information see: www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/introduction.htm