Tax Identification Number [UK Residents & Companies]

In this article, weโ€™re taking a look at the personal tax identification number, UK residents will want to pay close attention to this article because this is for them.

In fact, when asked for a tax identification number during international account opening, many UK residents are confused. Thatโ€™s because the UK doesnโ€™t exactly have a tax identification number or TIN.

In this article, weโ€™ll explain everything UK residents need to know about tax identification numbers. Including how they can find theirs.

This article is part of our free series on how to bank in Europe, covering topics like how to open a bank account in Poland to sending SEPA transfers and more – click here to get access.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Tax Identification Number [UK Residents]
  2. Does a UK Limited Company Need a TIN?
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?

Tax Identification Number [UK Residents]

When asked for a tax identification number, UK residents may be confused. This is because the UK does not technically issue a tax identification number (TIN). Instead, UK residents have a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number and a National Insurance Number (NINO), which are quasi-TINs.

That said, both the UTR and NINO may cause issues if you try to provide them as a replacement for a TIN with financial institutions or other reporting agencies. These issues ultimately stem from the fact that the UTR is not issued in any physical form and that a NINO is issued with the statement that it cannot be used for identification purposes.

Using a UK Tax ID When Opening Bank Accounts Abroad

When individuals open a bank account in almost any country, they need to provide their tax identification number. This is a requirement of the OECDโ€™s information sharing agreements and common reporting standards.

In short, providing a tax identification number allows banks to ensure that any information sharing between nations is correctly facilitated. Additionally, when banks fail to correctly identify an individual and provide this data, it can result in penalties for the institution.

With this in mind, when a UK resident wishes to open a foreign bank account, they will be asked to provide a tax identification number. In most cases, UK residents can provide either their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number or their National Insurance Number (NINO).

When asked for supporting documentation for a UTR, an individual may need to provide a copy of a recent tax return. Alternatively, when asked for supporting documentation for a NINO, an individual may need to provide a copy of a recent PAYEE notice.

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Does a UK Limited Company Need a TIN?

Yes, a UK Limited Company does need a TIN. In fact, UK Limited Companies are almost always liable for taxes in the United Kingdom. And are therefore issued a tax identification number to correspond with any tax filings.

That said, the United Kingdom does not refer to this number as a taxpayer identification number or TIN. Instead, the UK issues a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number. This number is issued to both corporations and individuals and is used for tax reporting purposes.

However, as mentioned above, there is no physical document that confirms a UTR as you might expect in other countries like the United States. With this in mind, when asked for proof of a UTR, the company may need to provide recent tax filings.

What Is a UK Company Registration Number?

A UK company registration number is a unique identification number issued to companies registered in the United Kingdom. Also known as a CRN. This number is used for tracking company activities, reporting, and maintaining accurate records of the company and its related parties.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are two of the most common questions that we receive from people looking into how to get a tax identification number in the UK. If you have further questions you would like answered, donโ€™t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

How Do I Find My Taxpayer Identification Number?

How you find your taxpayer identification number will ultimately depend on the country where you are a resident. However, in the United Kingdom, you find your taxpayer identification number by looking for your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number or your National Insurance Number (NINO) on a recent tax return (UTR) or PAYEE notice (NINO). This is because these two numbers are commonly accepted as the taxpayer identification numbers for UK residents by foreign financial institutions.

Do UK Citizens Have a Tax Identification Number?

Yes, UK citizens have a tax identification number equivalent. In other words, UK residents are not officially issued a tax identification number. But, both the Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number or the National Insurance Number (NINO) can be used as a replacement for a tax identification number. This is relevant anytime you are opening a bank account overseas in a country that collects taxpayer information for information sharing purposes.

Is Tax Identification Number the Same as SSN?

Yes, a tax identification number is the same as an SSN if you are a citizen and resident of the US. However, the United States also issues an ITIN, which is an individual taxpayer identification number primarily for non-US residents. When opening accounts in other countries and being asked for a tax identification number (or TIN), a US person should provide their SSN.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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