What is Construction Industry Scheme? (CIS)

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) requires contractors to take out taxes and National Insurance from payments they make to subcontractors. These deductions help subcontractors pay their taxes and insurance gradually throughout the year, instead of all at once at the end of the tax year

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Who Does it Apply to?

What Work Falls under CIS?

CIS includes most types of construction work, such as:

  • a permanent or temporary building or structure
  • civil engineering work like roads and bridges

For the purpose of CIS, construction work includes:

  • preparing the site – for example, laying foundations and providing access works
  • demolition and dismantling
  • building work
  • alterations, repairs and decorating
  • installing systems for heating, lighting, power, water and ventilation
  • cleaning the inside of buildings after construction work
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Cancel or De-Register from CIS?

If you’ve stopped trading or working with subcontractors, you can reach out to HMRC to deregister from CIS. It’s important to keep HMRC updated about any changes that might impact your CIS registration, such as:

  1. Changes to your address or business structure, or if a contractor passes away
  2. Ceasing trading or subcontractor use

If you’ve stopped working with subcontractors, contact HMRC to deregister from CIS. If it’s a temporary change, you can submit an inactivity request instead. Remember to submit monthly CIS reports until your cancellation request gets approved.

Who Doesn’t Have to Register for CIS?

If your construction work fits into any of these categories, you don’t have to sign up for CIS:

  1. Scaffolding hire (not the labor itself)
  2. Carpet fitting
  3. Architecture and surveying
  4. Work paid for by a charity, trust, governing body, or head teacher of a maintained school (via the local education authority)
  5. Work on a property for your business use (excluding properties for sale or rent)
  6. Construction contracts worth less than £1,000, excluding materials (you’ll need to call the CIS helpline to request an exemption)

For more information on CIS exemptions, take a look at this official guide.

Can I Request a Refund Online?

You can request a CIS tax refund online if you’re a subcontractor for a limited company, or an agent of one, and you’ve paid more tax or National Insurance than you owe. To claim online, you’ll need:

  • Company name, phone number, and UK address
  • PAYE reference numbers
  • Company Unique Tax Reference number (UTR)
  • The estimated overpayment amount

For further details on claiming a CIS refund, visit the gov.uk website.