What Is Tax Office Number?

This blog post aims to answer the question of what a Tax Office Number is by explaining its purpose and giving guidelines on how to identify it. Since it is one of the many numbers related to filing your taxes in the UK, we will also compare Tax Office Numbers with Tax Codes and UTR Numbers. 

What Is Tax Office Number?

The Tax Office Number; also referred to as the Tax Reference Number or PAYE Reference Number is a unique combination of letters and numbers and is used to identify employer payroll schemes as well as pension provider schemes with the HMRC. 

It appears on the payslips of PAYE employees each month as well as on P60 forms that they receive at the end of the tax year. When someone stops working for an employer, they will get a form P45 which carries details of their tax records. Your Tax Office Number is also mentioned on the P45 form. 

Since your tax code also appears on your payslip and P60 form, you need to identify your Tax Office Number so that you do not confuse it with your tax code. Another commonly used identification number used for tax payment is your Unique Tax Reference number or UTR. taxpayers should be able to differentiate between their Tax Office Number and UTR so that they use the correct number for its relevant purpose.

To understand how one can identify their Tax Office Number, the following points need to be kept in view: 

  • Each employer payroll scheme has its unique reference details which are broken down into 2 parts of the Tax Office Number. 
  • The first part has three digits, which indicate a code for the HMRC office number dealing with the company’s PAYE, e.g. 265. 
  • The second part of the Tax Office Number, which follows a forward slash, is a combination of letters and numbers. This is the tax office’s reference for the employer itself, e.g. CE76523. 
  • Therefore, a typical Tax Office Number looks something like 254/CE76523.

Individuals who are in multiple employments will have separate Tax Office Numbers for each job and will need to refer to each one separately with regards to their tax deduction.

If you are self-employed, you will receive your Tax Office Number during your initial correspondence with the HMRC and will need to refer to it in your self-assessment form for filing tax returns.

Individuals who need assistance in understanding the role of their Tax Office Number or in identifying it in their documents can call the HMRC helpline at 0300 200 3300 if they live in the UK or at +44 135 535 9022 if they live outside the UK, between Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. Alternatively, you can check your tax with the official HMRC app.

How Is Your Tax Office Number Different From Your Tax Code?

The main difference between your Tax Office Number and your Tax Code is that your tax office number indicates your employer’s reference details and the tax office dealing with your tax returns. 

On the other hand, your Tax Code indicates the amount of personal allowance to be considered before income tax is deducted from your taxable income, as well as whether your tax deduction is cumulative (for the entire tax year) or non-cumulative (for the period in question such as on a monthly or weekly basis).

In terms of appearance, your Tax Office Number starts with three digits followed by a slash and then a combination of letters and digits (usually seven in number). Meanwhile, your Tax Code is a four-digit combination of letters and numbers. The most common Tax Code in 2022 is a three-digit number followed by a letter; i.e. 1257L.

How Is Your Tax Office Number Different From Your Unique Tax Payer Reference?

Your Tax Office Number is primarily different from your Unique Tax Reference Number in the sense that a Unique Tax Reference Number or UTR is a ten-digit number assigned by the HMRC to self-employed individuals and businesses registered as limited companies for filing their tax returns.

It can be found on the front page of form SA100 or CT600 which is used to file tax returns. Additionally, it can also be found on a form SA316 or CT603; termed as a Notice to complete a Tax Return or a Statement of Account. If you are registered for self-assessment, you can also find your UTR number in your Personal Tax Account.

On the other hand, a Tax Office Number is assigned to salaried individuals who pay their taxes under the PAYE system and self-employed individuals who pay their taxes under the self-assessment system. 

It is used to indicate their employer’s details and the relevant tax office dealing with the employing company’s taxes on behalf of their employees.


This article has helped in explaining what a Tax Office Number is as well as indicating where to find it in your tax-related documents. Primarily a Tax Office Number serves to state the employer’s details as well as the tax office dealing with the employer’s taxes for their human resource. It can easily be found on one’s payslip or form P60. 


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