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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

The Scheme: Agent guidance: Scheme specific agents


CISR19600 Action guide contents


A Scheme Specific Agent is one that only acts for a contractor in connection with a specific CIS scheme or schemes. A contractor can specify a Scheme Specific Agent that is different to their Customer Level Agent.

The Scheme Specific Agent will act for the contractor in connection with all matters for that particular Construction Industry Scheme including verification of subcontractors and submitting monthly returns on forms CIS 300. Scheme Specific Agents may often be payroll firms rather than accountancy practices.

If no Scheme Specific Agent is appointed, then the system assumes that the CLA is acting,if there is one. By contrast, a CLA cannot ever act for a contractor in connection with a specific scheme where a Scheme Specific Agent has been appointed. So, for example, a contractor might operate four different Construction Industry Schemes but only have a Scheme Specific Agent for one of these. The CLA would therefore act for the remaining three but not for the scheme where a Scheme Specific Agent has been appointed.

Large partnerships and companies are probably more likely to have a Scheme Specific Agentas well as a CLA. In some cases, a Contractor may have several different Scheme Specific Agents. For example, these might be payroll firms located in geographical proximity to the contractor’s various construction sites.

Details of the Scheme Specific Agent are stored in CIS and can only be amended there. The name, address and reference number for the Scheme Specific Agent will need to be manually typed on to the record for each Construction Industry Scheme where the contractor wishes the Scheme Specific Agent to act. If a contractor has many schemes, information about the Scheme Specific Agent does not automatically flow from one scheme to another. When changes occur, it is necessary to manually update each scheme’s record. So, where an agent dealing with several schemes operated by a contractor changes their place of business, every scheme record will have to be amended to reflect that agent’s change of address.