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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Supporting Guidance: employer compliance: guidance by subject: construction industry scheme (CIS): foreign workers

Many foreign nationals work within the Construction Industry. Some will be working legitimately and others will not.

CI Caseworkers are most likely to encounter problems when

  • a foreign worker who has been working on a self-employed basis should have been treated as an employee and has been issued with a ‘home office letter’ allowing them to work on a self-employed basis only
  • a foreign worker is working under another person’s identity
  • a foreign worker is receiving ‘off record’ wages/payments.

In each of the situations described the caseworker must

  • calculate and collect any tax and National Insurance due
  • calculate and collect any CIS deductions due at the appropriate rate
  • calculate and collect interest where appropriate and
  • consider penalties in accordance with the guidance at COG914000 onwards.

If the worker is not legitimate he will not have a National Insurance number and it will not be possible to allocate National Insurance to a NIRS account.

If the worker has a ‘home office letter’ and is working as an employee he may have broken Home Office conditions.

If the worker does not appear to be working legitimately (for example not known to HMRC) he may be an illegal immigrant.

The CI Caseworker should

  • make a referral to the Home Office via RIS.