How long does a CIS tax refund take if you’re are a limited company?

As a limited company CIS subcontractor, you may have paid HMRC too much tax or National Insurance during the 2018-19 tax year. If this is the case, you are able to apply for a repayment of CIS deductions. HMRC say that these claims will take a maximum of 40 working days from the receipt of your application, to processing your repayment.

The timescales can differ if you are a CIS subcontractor who is not registered as a limited company.

How do I apply for a CIS subcontractor tax and NICs repayment?

If you are a limited company CIS subcontractor, you can apply for a repayment of your CIS deductions online. You use your Government Gateway account to log into your tax section.

It makes the process take longer if you file your application before the end of year filing deadline.  This is because not all of your CIS deductions for that tax year will be accounted for. Because of this, there is an increased chance that you won’t get the correct repayment amount.

You cannot use this online application process if your tax agent or accountant is taking care of this for you and the initial payment will arrive with them. In this case, you need to send your application by post to:


National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office

HM Revenue and Customs


United Kingdom

There is no form to complete for a postal application. But you must include all the information HMRC needs to process your claim. If they need to contact you for clarification it makes the whole thing take longer.

Your written application must have all the obvious personal and financial details, like company name and PAYE reference number. But you also need to tell them how you would like your money to be repaid and have an R38 form done for payments to your representative.

All of the information needed by HMRC is listed here.

When should I start chasing my CIS refund?

It all depends on when your submission was made. For example HMRC only started going through 2018-19 CIS deduction repayments on 24th April 2019. Because of this they have asked that you keep any enquiries about the progress of your application until 19th June, at the earliest. This is 40 working days from 21st April.


Tony Shanks
Operations Director
Member of the ATT

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