The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is actually a list of unique policies for handling payments produced by contractors to subcontractors for construction work. If your business works in the construction industry or does building associated work then it may need to sign up with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as either a contractor or a subcontractor below CIS. Certain other organizations and organisations might require to sign-up with HMRC as contractors if they shell out more than a certain amount each year on ‘construction operations’ covered by the scheme. They may have to do this even if their main activity is nothing to do with development.
Beneath the rules of CIS, you’re a contractor if you run a company that engages subcontractors for construction operations - a ‘mainstream’ contractor. You can also be considered as a contactor if you run a small business that spends an average of £1 million or maybe more a year over a three year period on building operations - a ‘deemed’ contractor. Any type of organization, including a company, partnership or self-employed individual, can be a CIS contractor. If you are contracted to work in domestic households and you engage subcontractors you are a CIS contractor and will have to operate CIS.
Even so, if you’re a private householder you’re not a contractor, no matter how much you devote. Other organisations, like local authorities, can also become contactors if they spend £1 million or more a year on building work. The CIS rules set out in detail the types of work that are construction operations covered by the scheme. As a general guide, almost any type of work that you do to a permanent or temporary building or structure - or to a civil engineering work or installation - is covered by CIS.
Organizations that include construction operations are called mainstream contractors. As well as companies like builders that do construction work themselves and pay others to do it too, traditional contractors include;
- Property developers and speculative builders who build or alter properties to make a profit.
- Gang leaders who organise labour for construction work; gang leaders are subcontractors
- Foreign companies that do construction work in the UK, or in UK territorial waters
CIS uses its own special definition of the term subcontractor. So even if you don’t normally think of yourself as a subcontractor, you could be treated as on below CIS. Under the rules of CIS, you’re a subcontractor if you agree to do construction work for a contractor. It doesn’t matter how you actually carry out the work - you could do it yourself, get your employees to do it, use your own subcontractors or make some other arrangement.
Subcontractors can be self-employed individuals, any type of business enterprise, or other bodies and organisations. Some examples of construction industry subcontractors include;
- Sole traders, partnerships and companies that do construction work for contractors.
- Labour agencies and staff bureaux that use their own workers to do construction get the job done for a contractor, or that supply (but not just introduce) workers to a contractor.
- Gang leaders who contract to do work for a contractor and are paid for the work done by their gang.
- Foreign Businesses paid to do construction work within the UK, or in UK territorial waters.
- Local authorities and public bodies that do construction work for someone else.
Should your small business is actually a labour agency that supplies building workers to constructors, you’re a subcontractor if the workers are contracted to your agency. But if you just introduce the workers to the contractor who then contracts with them directly, you’re not a subcontractor. There are special CIS regulations for agency workers within the design industry. If you’re a gang leader and you’re paid by contractors for building work that your gang members do then you’re a subcontractor. But if a contractor makes a separate agreement directly with one of your gang members then that gang member becomes the subcontractor.
If you work as a subcontractor less than the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) you must register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) before you start working. If you don’t sign up with HMRC, contractors have to make a deduction from your payments at the higher rate - 30 per cent. You may be eligible as a business for ‘gross payment’ status, which means that deductions won’t be produced from your payments, but in order to quality, your company must first be registered with HMRC and secondly must pass several qualifying tests.
If you’re intending to work within construction you’ll want to register with HMRC before you start doing so. If you don’t register with them, deductions will be created from your payments at the higher rate (30 per cent). You’ll need to tell HMRC the name of the business you want to sign up, your own name if you trade under it as a self-employed individual; and the unique taxpayer reference number for the business. You can give them one other trading name for the business. http://www.bettertax.org/ , http://www.bettertax.org/