Last edited 25 Feb 2021

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Construction industry scheme CIS

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) sets out a series of rules for how contractors should make payments to sub-contractors.

The scheme was introduced in order to try and prevent the loss of revenue to the Exchequer arising from payments between contractors not being properly accounted for for tax purposes. For all contractors and sub-contractors who fall within scope, the obligation to account properly for tax and to apply deductions from payments made is clear and severe penalties automatically arise if the provisions of the scheme are not followed rigorously.

The definition of 'contractor' for the purposes of the scheme includes not just organisations traditionally considered to be contractors, but any organisation that spends more than an average of £1 million a year on construction operations over a three-year period (for example local authorities).

Qualifying contractors are required to register under the Construction Industry Scheme with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and to inform them of changes to their business.

Sub-contractors do not have to register for CIS, but if they do not register, they will suffer higher-rate deductions taken from their payments.

Contractors then have certain obligations, including;

[edit] Reform

In June 2014, the government launched a consultation into ways to improve the CIS by reducing the administrative burden it imposes. Some people within the industry have called for the scheme to be scrapped. Ref. Construction Enquirer Calls grow to scrap CIS tax scheme 11 July 2014. This consultation closed on 22 September 2014.

In November 2014, the Autumn Statement 2014 proposed a package of improvements to the Construction Industry Scheme to reduce the administrative burden on construction businesses.

The government announced at Spring Budget 2020 a consultation on measures to tackle abuse of the CIS. A consultation document was published 19 March 2020 setting out proposals to tackle this abuse. Due to coronavirus the consultation was extended until 28 August 2020.

In November 2020, the government published a draft finance bill which included proposed changes to the CIS to tackle abuse ensuring HMRC can act quickly where the rules are being broken. A clarification to the cost of materials provision will remove scope for different interpretations of the existing rule, and deemed contractor changes are designed to prevent manipulation of the current rules so that a business can avoid operating the CIS.. Ref

This article was originally created by:--Martinc 17:59, 19 June 2013 (BST)

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