Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) allows subcontractors to make regular contributions towards their national insurance and tax obligations

Under the scheme, contractors deduct money from a subcontractor’s wage payment and pass it onto HMRC.


The deductions count as advance payments towards the subcontractor’s tax and National Insurance.


Contractors must register for the scheme. Subcontractors don’t have to register, but deductions are taken from their payments at a higher rate if they’re not registered.



Anybody who works in the UK construction industry is required to comply with HMRC’s tax rules and regulations, otherwise known as the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

If you’re a mainstream contractor and you pay subcontractors, or if you use a flexible workforce, then CIS applies to you. It covers everyone from builders and labour agencies to property developers and gangmasters.

What work is covered by CIS?

CIS covers most construction work to:

  • a permanent or temporary building or structure
  • civil engineering work like roads and bridge

For CIS, construction work includes:

  • preparing the site, e.g. laying foundations and providing access works
  • demolition and dismantling
  • building work
  • alterations, repairs and decorating
  • installing systems for heating, lighting, power, water and ventilation
  • cleaning the inside of buildings after construction work


You don’t have to register if you only do specific jobs, including:

  • architecture and surveying
  • scaffolding hire (with no labour)
  • carpet fitting
  • making materials used in construction including plant and machinery
  • delivering materials
  • work on construction sites that’s not construction, e.g. running a canteen or site
  • facilities

To find out more about how we can help, visit our dedicated CIS page or contact us.


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