Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a scheme used by HMRC to collect Income Tax from subcontractors in the construction industry.

You’re eligible to register for the scheme if you’re a self-employed construction worker. If you’re a full-time employee, the scheme does not apply to you as you are already being taxed via PAYE. You can check with your company to confirm which bracket you fall under.

Why register for CIS if you work as a subcontractor in construction?

If you’re registered for the scheme, you only have only 20% tax deducted from your salary. When you’re not registered, your contractor deducts 30% from your wages. Unless you earn more than £50,270 per year, this is more than you owe, so you’ll have to claim any overpayment back at the end of the tax year. You do this by filing a tax return.This needs to be filed by 31st January the year after you worked.

Beyond the technical side of things, some contractors may not accept you to work on their site unless you’re registered with CIS, so it’s worth finding that out before inquiring about work. The contractor will verify you with HMRC before you start.

What is the CIS rebate?

The 20% deduction usually works out as more than you owe in tax, so subcontractors can claim back a CIS tax rebate from HMRC in the April of the following tax year. For most CIS construction workers, the average refund is around £2,000.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why was the CIS set up?

    In the past, many subcontractors were paid cash in hand – meaning that HMRC couldn’t track who was being paid and how much they owed in tax. The CIS means that you are properly registered and your income is tracked.

  • How do I register for the CIS?

    To register with CIS, get in touch with HMRC. If you need support with your Self-Assessment tax return, contact our team!

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