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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

The Scheme: miscellaneous: Customer enquiry referral

CISR18600 Action guide contents

You may get an enquiry from the customer as “front line” (Tier 1) staff that even after consulting the Customer Advisor Guide (CAG) you still cannot deal with. You may therefore have to “hand off” the call to Tier 2 staff. This is done in the majority of cases by using the E-form facility and Work Area Mailboxes (WAM’s). There are some exceptions to this, see below;

  • Where the enquiry relates to the scope of the Construction Industry Scheme, or where you have a contractor wishing to verify 11 or more subcontractors, in these cases please refer to the instructions at CISR95050.
  • Where the contact is about an appeal where gross payment status has not been granted, the customer should be asked to put the grounds for that appeal in writing.
  • If the caller has a ‘Status’ enquiry this should be referred to the CIS Compliance unit using the ESI tool.

Where however you still have an enquiry that you cannot answer take the following action:

  1. Inform the customer that you cannot deal with their enquiry in full, and that their enquiry will be passed to someone who can, and who will call them back within 3 working days.
  2. Note in full the information requested or being supplied by the customer, including a note of their name, address and Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).
  3. Take a note of a contact telephone number for the customer.
  4. Complete an E-form with the necessary information to enable the responsible office to work the referral in full.
  5. Note that the E-form should be addressed to the Work Area Mailbox entitled “Other” for the responsible office, and that after the UTR you should show CT-CIS or SA-CIS as appropriate, depending on whether the enquiry comes from a Corporation Tax caller (Companies and Unincorporated bodies) or from a Self-Assessment caller (other callers).

Note that the nature of the enquiry will dictate the place to which your E-form should be addressed. For examples of this see below:

  • If the caller is chasing a response to a registration application made and the application was made more than 5 days previously, this should be referred by E-form to the National Insurance Contributions Office (NICO) CIS Team who will then take over the enquiry and telephone the customer back regarding their application.
  • If the caller is responding to a Construction Industry Compliance enquiry then this will need to be referred to the originating office for the enquiry.
  • All other cases that need referral should be sent to the Processing office for the customer, if this is not known by the caller, these details will be shown under ‘Designatory details’ in the function ‘View Customer’ (see CISR90000).