Construction Industry Scheme

Construction Industrial Scheme

Contractors working, or hiring other contractors to work, on construction operations may have to register for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). This requires the hirer to deduct income tax directly from the contractor’s or worker’s gross earnings.

The CIS scheme only applies to genuine self-employment, and one of HMRC’s main objectives has always been to prevent self-employed subcontractors avoiding tax by simply not registering as self-employed.

Contractors and subcontractors both must register with HMRC

It is important to understand the terminology used by CIS. In a CIS context, when HMRC uses the term ‘contractor’, it does not mean a classic one-person company as we know it, but a construction contractor that delivers construction services and may employ workers or hire subcontractors.

subcontractors are typically the worker, and they could be trading as a one-person limited company contractor or, as is more commonly the case, a self-employed sole trader.

Using CIS terminology, both contractors and subcontractors who perform the construction operations defined by HMRC as qualifying for the CIS must register with HMRC under the scheme.

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