How do I register for CIS?
The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a great way for you to save yourself 10% off your income tax bill. As a subcontractor, you do not have to register for CIS. But if you are not CIS registered, then your contractor will deduct 30% from your wages to deliver to HMRC. When you register voluntarily, this figure is lowered to 20%.
The CIS process is not for people working in the construction industry as an employee under PAYE. It is for taxpayers who are taken on by construction industry contractors as a subcontractor and are considered self employed.
If you are a subcontractor and you want to register for CIS, there are a few simple steps to follow. All CIS registration is online and there are some differences in the process, depending on how your work situation is defined.
Checklist for CIS registration
Before you start, no matter what your status, you will need to have specific information to complete the CIS registration procedure.
You need the following things at your fingertips:
- Your National Insurance Number.
- Your business’s Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number.
- Your legal or trading business name.
- If you’re VAT registered, you also need your VAT registration number.
CIS scheme registration next steps
This depends on your current status.
- Self employed: If you are already registered as self employed, the process of CIS registration will only take a few days to complete because you already have a UTR and can do it online. You need your Government Gateway username and password.
- If you are not already registered as self employed, you can do this and register for CIS at the same time. You need to make sure to choose ‘working as a subcontractor’ as you complete your self assessment registration form. This way of CIS registration, understandably, takes longer. It may be up to six seeks to be fully registered and you will be given a CIS card at the end of the process.
- Limited Company or Partnership: If you are classified as a limited company or partnership, then you register for CIS through their different respective processes. You will need your UTR and business trading name details to complete these registration forms.
- Based outside the UK: The CIS applies to all subcontracted work done in the UK, so you are still able to join the CIS if you are based abroad. There are different forms and procedures depending on what type of business you have.
- Subcontractor and contractor: If you are both a subcontractor and contractor, you must register both your positions on the construction industry scheme as separate entities.
Do I have to register for CIS annually?
No, you just register for CIS once. As and when your circumstances change, you are obliged to inform HMRC and they will make any necessary changes to your tax status.
What kind of work is eligible under CIS rules?
The CIS rules apply to most trades in the construction industry, including; plumbers, electricians, builders, groundworkers and joiners. From razing a building to the ground, to the final coat of paint, the CIS is mandatory for most contractors.
Is the CIS scheme only for UK based companies?
No, the CIS is not restricted to British companies. Businesses from abroad can register as CIS contractors, with some slight differences to the application process, as long as the construction work itself is being done in the UK.
How to get help with registering for the CIS as a subcontractor
HMRC has a dedicated helpline for CIS registration, 0300 200 3210. We can talk you through the process and make sure that you are registering in the correct way for your business type.
When do I complete my CIS tax return?
As a CIS sub contractor a self assessment tax return will have to be completed after the end of each tax year.
A tax return must be completed to declare your self employed income and tax figures along with any other income you may have (for example from a job where you are employed under PAYE). You must submit your tax return by the 31st January after the tax year ends to avoid receiving late filing penalties from the tax office.
CIS Tax Refund Calculator
Calculate how much your CIS tax refund is worth today
The CIS calculator will give you an estimation of how much you can claim back.