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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

The Scheme: miscellaneous: non-resident subcontractors and Specialist PT

CISR18600 Action guide contents


The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) applies to any payments made by contractors to subcontractors, as defined by the CIS legislation, for construction work undertaken anywhere within the UK. The Scheme has to be applied not only by businesses based in the UK but also by any non-resident businesses acting as contractors or subcontractors in relation to construction work carried out in the UK.

Non-resident companies

Specialist PT is now responsible for CIS related matters for all current and new non-resident companies that are not liable to CT because they are not trading in the UK through a branch or agency.

Where you identify an existing non-resident company that has been set up on COTAX and is operating as a contractor/ employer, you should take the following action

  • confirm with the appropriate technical specialist that they accept that the non-resident company is not trading through a UK branch or agency

If this is confirmed

  • you should proceed to transfer ownership of the COTAX record to Specialist PT, using office ID 290400, following the relevant COTAX Manual (COM) guidance
  • send to Specialist PT at the address set out at CISR97040.

    • form CT48A
    • CIS32 folder
    • the company’s file , if held.

Specialist PT will contact the non-resident company to confirm the transfer of responsibility.

Any non-resident companies seeking advice on CIS related issues should be advised to contact Specialist PT directly (See CISR97040).

Non-resident individuals and partnerships

Specialist PT only has responsibility for non-resident companies and does not have responsibility, or ownership, for non-resident individuals or partnerships operating within the Construction Industry Scheme. For CIS purposes those cases should continue to be handled by the local processing office nearest to where the construction work is carried out.

Ideally, CIS applications from non-resident subcontractors should be reviewed by a Higher Officer or above. In cases where the Higher Officer has any doubts about the application they should seek the advice of the CIS Technical Team (CISR97090).