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  • Writer's pictureClive Cass

How to register for CIS

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is an HMRC initiative that outlines how subcontractors should be paid. Most businesses and workers in the construction industry must register for the scheme. Registering as a contractor There are 2 types of contractors: mainstream contractors and deemed contractors. Both must register for CIS. If your business is in construction and you pay other construction workers, you are considered a mainstream contractor. If you do not do construction work but you have spent more than £3 million on construction in the 12 months since you made your first payment, then you are considered to be a deemed contractor. You must register in the 2 months prior to making your first payment. To register for the Construction Industry Scheme, you must register as an employer on the HMRC website. During registration, make sure to choose the PAYE option and tick the box “will you be engaging any subcontractors in the Construction Industry?”. You will also need to enter your:

  • Business UTR

  • Business contact details

  • Your National Insurance Number

  • Start date

Once you’ve completed the online form, you’ll receive a letter from HMRC within 5 working days with your PAYE reference number and the information you need to start working as a CIS contractor.

Registering as a subcontractor A subcontractor is a self-employed worker who is hired by a contractor. To register for CIS as a subcontractor, you’ll need your:

  • Legal business name

  • Trading name (if applicable)

  • National Insurance Number

  • Business UTR

  • VAT number (if applicable)

If you do not have a UTR, you can register as a new business for Self Assessment and choose the option “working as a subcontractor” when prompted. You’ll then be registered for Self Assessment and the CIS at the same time. If you’re both a subcontractor and a contractor, you will need to register for CIS twice. You can register by phoning the HMRC Helpline at 0300 200 3210, or online through the Government Gateway service. If you register online, you’ll need your Government Gateway ID and password you received when you registered for Self Assessment. It’s beneficial to check if you would like to apply for gross payment status prior to registering. This means contractors will pay you in full, without deductions. You will then be responsible for paying all your tax and National Insurance at the end of the tax year. You can register for gross payment status when you register for CIS. You will need to demonstrate that you have paid your taxes on time in the past, that your business does construction work and that your business is run through a bank account. Your turnover from the previous 12 months must also exceed £30,000 if you’re a sole trader.

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