What is Your TIN if You Are a UK Tax Resident?

Personal Tax Dec 15, 2021

If you're a UK tax resident, you might have come across the term "TIN" while dealing with tax-related matters, especially in the context of international transactions and compliance. TIN stands for Taxpayer Identification Number, a unique identifier used by tax authorities around the world to manage and track taxpayers. It's also called in the UK a fiscal number or a fiscal code. But what exactly is your TIN if you're a UK tax resident, and how does it impact your tax obligations? Let's delve into the details.

Understanding TIN in the UK Context

In the United Kingdom, the equivalent of a TIN is typically referred to as a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). The UTR is a ten-digit number issued by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to identify individual taxpayers and businesses within the UK tax system. It's essential for various tax-related processes, such as filing tax returns, making payments, and ensuring compliance with tax regulations.

How to Find Your UTR

If you're a UK tax resident, you should have received a UTR from HMRC when you registered for self-assessment or if you are a director of a company. Here are a few ways to locate your UTR:

  1. HMRC Correspondence: Your UTR can be found on any correspondence you’ve received from HMRC, such as tax return reminders or notices to file a tax return.
  2. Self-Assessment Tax Return: The UTR is printed on your self-assessment tax return.
  3. HMRC Online Account: If you have an online account with HMRC, you can log in and find your UTR in your account details.
  4. Your Accountant: If you use an accountant, they will have a record of your UTR.

National Insurance Number (NINO) as a TIN

In some instances, the National Insurance Number (NINO) can serve as the TIN. This is particularly relevant for individuals who do not have a UTR. The NINO is used to track your National Insurance contributions and benefits, but it also functions as a tax identifier for employed individuals who pay tax through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system.

Usage of the TIN in the Context of CRS

The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is an international framework developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the automatic exchange of financial account information between tax authorities. The CRS aims to combat tax evasion by requiring financial institutions to report information about account holders who are tax residents in other jurisdictions. In this context, your TIN (UTR or NINO) is used to identify you as a UK tax resident. This information is then shared with the tax authorities of the countries where you hold financial accounts, ensuring transparency and compliance with international tax laws.

Importance of Your TIN

Your UTR or NINO is crucial for fulfilling your tax responsibilities in the UK. Here are some key reasons why it's important:

  1. Tax Returns: You'll need your UTR to file your self-assessment tax returns. This ensures that HMRC correctly attributes your tax payments and filings to your account.
  2. Tax Payments: When making tax payments, quoting your UTR helps HMRC match your payment to the correct account, avoiding any potential issues or delays.
  3. Compliance: For international transactions, particularly if you're subject to foreign tax regulations or reporting requirements, having your UTR or NINO helps in maintaining compliance with global tax laws.
  4. Avoiding Penalties: Using your UTR or NINO correctly helps avoid penalties and fines for incorrect or late tax filings and payments.

Common Questions About TINs, UTRs, and NINOs

Do I need a UTR if I’m employed and not self-employed?

If you're solely employed and pay tax through PAYE, you typically do not need a UTR. Your NINO serves as your TIN in this context. However, if you have additional income that requires self-assessment, you will need to register for a UTR.

Can I have more than one UTR?

No, an individual or a single business entity should only have one UTR. If you suspect that you have been issued more than one Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), it’s important to contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to address the matter. Possessing multiple UTRs can lead to complications in the future.

What should I do if I lose my UTR?

If you lose your UTR, you can recover it by checking previous correspondence from HMRC, logging into your HMRC online account, or contacting HMRC directly.


Understanding and using your TIN, whether it's your UTR or NINO in the UK, is vital for managing your tax affairs effectively. Whether you're self-employed, a business owner, or have foreign income that requires reporting, knowing your UTR or NINO and how to use it can save you time, ensure compliance, and help you avoid potential penalties.

For more insights and updates on tax matters, stay tuned to Tax Trends.


Franck Sidon

With over 15 years of experience as a Managing Director at TaxAssist Accountants, I have helped thousands of businesses and individuals achieve their financial goals and optimize their tax efficiency.