Every employer and pension provider has a distinct reference number that serves as a means of identifying their HMRC tax records. You may be asked to verify this tax reference number if you need to get in touch with HMRC regarding taxes.

Your tax reference, which can be found on your payslip or in correspondence from HMRC, identifies the company you work for. Despite their similarity in pronunciation, a tax reference number, UK, and a unique taxpayer reference are not the same thing. They are separate numbers relating to different things.

What Is a Tax Reference Number?

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) uses a tax reference number, UK, sometimes known as an "employer PAYE reference" or just plain "PAYE reference," to uniquely identify employers. That is, if you are contacting HMRC by phone, mail, or email, you will require your reference number. Hence, you must keep your tax office reference number safe.

Employers can verify that they are paying the correct taxes and National Insurance contributions (NICs) for employees by using the tax office reference number.

Where Can I Find My Reference Number?

There are several places you can find your corporation tax reference. Among them are:

  • Your employer's payslip
  • Your P45 -from your previous employer, who you stopped working for.
  • On the P60. This document, which is provided after every tax year, details the total amount of pay, national insurance, and income tax related to your employer.
  • Your Coding Notice. This is the document that HMRC sends to you to let you know which tax code is applied to your earnings from employment.
  • If you are self-employed, your reference number can be found in any correspondence you get from HMRC, including self-assessment tax calculation.

What Does a Tax Reference Number, UK, Look Like?

The tax reference is made up of three digits, followed by a string of digits, letters, or both. The first three digits of the tax reference number designate the tax office that is in charge of that specific employer. The remaining part of the tax reference indicates the employer. If employees need to get in touch with any UK tax office, they can also give their National Insurance number.

Is the National Insurance Number and the Tax Office Reference Number the same?

The National Insurance Number (NINO) is a separate reference number and not the same as your tax office reference number. Your tax office reference number serves as an employer's identity, and your NINO is used to verify your national insurance contributions and availing state benefits.

Due to their similar usage, these two numbers could occasionally confuse. Thus, before giving personal information, be sure to confirm which one is being asked for.

 Is My UTR and the Tax Office Reference Number the same?

Quite often tax reference numbers and unique tax reference numbers (UTRs) are mistaken to be the same. Nevertheless, UTR is given to individual taxpayers, while the tax office reference number is given to the employer. Therefore, they are two different numbers that should not be confused with one another.

HMRC will provide you with a 10-digit UTR, such as 1234567891, while a tax office reference number is made up of a combination of letters and numbers, such as XYZ/AB12345. HMRC sends you your UTR by letter, while the corporation tax reference number can be found on the documents mentioned previously.

Multiple Tax Office Reference Numbers and a Second Job

Many people turn to taking on a second job to save more money due to the rising cost of living. Every employer you work for, or if you have multiple jobs, will have a unique tax office reference number. This is so that you can be sure you are paying the appropriate taxes and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for each job. Hence, be sure to maintain track of all the reference numbers for your multiple sources of income.

Employer PAYE Reference Number and Tax Office Reference Number

Employer Reference Number (ERN) is another name for an Employer PAYE Reference Number and is different from a tax office reference number. For tax and NI contributions, the ERN serves as a unique payroll identity for the employer. Any company with PAYE-registered employees receives the ERN. The ERN has three digits indicating the HMRC office and multiple letters or numbers. It typically has ten digits total, though there might be some deviations.

When filing your annual PAYE returns, obtaining tax codes, or setting up email reminders for PAYE, you will need to provide your Employer Reference Number. For tax credits and school loans, employees require ERN. They can find them on payslips or P60 forms that employers give them in April each year. ERN can also be found on P11D forms for taxable benefits.

Using the Correct HMRC Reference Number

Each employer who registers for Pay as You Earn with HMRC has a unique tax reference number. It aids HMRC in determining the employer with whom they are interacting.
You can also make use of other HMRC services, like Corporation Tax and VAT, for which you will have unique reference numbers. To prevent confusion, keep a record of the relevant reference numbers along with the services they relate to.

How Unicorn Accountants Can Help You?

A vital identifier for employers in the UK is a tax reference number. HMRC uses it to make sure employers are paying the correct taxes and national insurance contributions for their employees. Your reference number is found on various documents, depending on whether you are self-employed or an employee.

We at Unicorn Accountants, a reputable accountant in London, guarantee easy handling, validation, and comprehension of your tax reference number. Put your trust in Unicorn Accountants to help you navigate challenging circumstances, guarantee accurate compliance, and optimise your financial performance.