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A Detailed Guidance on Construction Industry Scheme

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A Detailed Guidance on Construction Industry Scheme

Demystifying the Construction Industry Scheme: Guidance and HMRC Refunds.

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In the world of accounting, it is essential to stay up to date with the latest regulations and guidelines. For those working in the construction industry, the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a crucial aspect to understand. In this blog, we will explore the guidance on the Construction Industry Scheme and how HMRC refunds income tax.

What is the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)?

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a tax scheme designed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to regulate payments between contractors and subcontractors in the construction industry. It requires contractors to deduct money from subcontractors’ payments and send it directly to HMRC as an advance payment towards the subcontractors’ tax and National Insurance contributions.

Who does the Construction Industry Scheme apply to?

The construction industry scheme applies to businesses or individuals who work in the construction industry as contractors or subcontractors. Contractors are individuals or businesses that pay subcontractors for construction work, while subcontractors are individuals or businesses who carry out construction work for contractors.

Registration and Verification under Construction Industry Scheme

To operate under the construction industry scheme, both contractors and subcontractors are required to register with HMRC. Contractors must verify their subcontractors’ status with HMRC, ensuring they are registered and have the correct tax treatment. This verification process helps to prevent tax evasion and ensure compliance within the industry.

Deductions and Payments

Under the construction industry scheme, contractors are obligated to make deductions from subcontractors’ payments and pay these directly to HMRC. The deductions include a percentage for tax and, if applicable, National Insurance contributions. The amount deducted depends on the subcontractor’s registration status and can vary from 20% to 30%. Contractors must issue payment and deduction statements to subcontractors to keep them informed about the amounts withheld.

Reporting and Record-keeping

Contractors and subcontractors have reporting and record-keeping obligations under the construction industry scheme. Contractors must submit monthly returns to HMRC, detailing payments made to subcontractors and the deductions made. Subcontractors must keep records of their income and expenses related to construction work to ensure accurate reporting and compliance with tax obligations.

HMRC Refunds and Income Tax

HMRC refunds income tax to subcontractors who have had excess deductions made under the construction industry scheme. If a subcontractor’s total tax liability is less than the deductions made, they can claim a refund from HMRC. The refund process involves submitting a tax return, which includes details of the deductions made under the CIS. HMRC then calculates the actual tax liability and refunds the excess deductions.

Case Study:

Let’s consider a case study to understand how HMRC refunds income tax under the construction industry scheme. John is a subcontractor working in the construction industry. Over the tax year, he had a total of £10,000 deducted by various contractors he worked for. However, after calculating his tax liability, John finds that he only owes £8,000 in income tax.

John must complete a tax return, including the deductions made under the construction industry scheme. HMRC will then calculate his actual tax liability, which is £8,000. Since John’s deductions exceeded his tax liability, he is eligible for a refund of the excess deductions, which is £2,000.


Understanding the guidance on the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is crucial for contractors and subcontractors in the construction industry. Compliance with the CIS ensures proper deductions, reporting, and record-keeping, while also allowing subcontractors to claim refunds for excess deductions from HMRC. By staying informed and adhering to the construction industry scheme requirements, accountants can effectively assist their clients in navigating the complexities of the construction industry and optimizing their tax obligations. Read more on CIS Click here

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