What to do if you’ve lost your UTR number
Whether you're someone who likes to file your annual self-as...
By Lynne Gowers on 23rd July 2015
As a self-employed worker, deciding how to operate your business (whether as a sole trader or via a Limited Company) can be confusing. Each has various benefits, depending on the industry you work in and how much you earn. If you’ve decided to go down the Limited Company route, there are a number of rules about what information HMRC need from Company Directors, how you need to tell them and when you have to file various forms. If you’re starting to get flashbacks to how you were feeling at 14 and trying to understand algebra or remember the differences between osmosis and diffusion, it’s okay; here’s our guide to understanding the HMRC labyrinth you might be stuck in.
When starting trading through your limited company, you need to tell HMRC information about your company within 3 months (or you may face a penalty). Once you get your company’s Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number, you can easily do this online.
You need to tell them the date you started, company name, registered number, main address, the business you do, and annual accounts date (this is usually the last day of the month you started – e.g. if you set up on 16th March, your first year accounts end on 31st March the following year).
If your business details change (i.e. your name, your business’s name or your personal or trading address), you need to tell HMRC as soon as possible. You also need to let them know if you appoint an accountant or tax adviser, as you can authorise them to deal with HMRC on your behalf (and save a your hair from going grey); to do this use form 64-8 or login to your HMRC online account.
Even if you’re set up as a Limited Company and registered as Company Director, unfortunately you still have to complete a Self-Assessment tax return. You’ll have to register with HMRC to get your personal Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number (alongside your company one).
Even if you’re the only person working for your company, directors are still classified as employees, and therefore pay National Insurance on income over £8,424 (tax year 2018/19). You have to report pay and deductions to HMRC in a Full Payment Submission (FPS), which needs to be sent on or before payday; include everyone who is paid, even if they earn less than the threshold. You can then view how much you owe HMRC via your online account, and pay them – make sure that you do this on time or you might face penalties.
You’ll also need to submit a P60 for yourself (as well as for any employees you have), which confirms your earnings for the past tax year.
This is a form which details benefits and expenses claimed during the past tax year.
In order to pay any Corporation Tax owed, you’ll also need to send a Company Tax Return to HMRC. The process is relatively simple; you need your company’s accounts, Corporation Tax calculations and a completed CT600 form. Alternatively, if you can’t use the HMRC service, you need to use accounting software to complete the tax return instead.
Remember, even if you hire an accountant to look after your accounts you’re still legally responsible for them (and could face a £3,000 fine if you don’t keep records). An accountant will be able to look after the majority of the paperwork and processes listed above, but can also give you a helping hand with your personal tax as well. To give you peace of mind that everything is in order, make sure you use an accountancy firm who are experts at handling Limited Company accounts, offer you 24/7 access (via cloud software or an app) and who are easy to get hold of.
Still lost in a maze of paperwork? Take a look at our accountancy services to see how we can help simplify things for you.
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