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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

Register and maintain contractor: Update contractor scheme record

CISR31600 Action guide contents

Updating a contractor scheme record

The guidance on updating a contractor scheme record is wholly contained within the Action Guide at CISR31600.

This describes the various windows that can be seen within the function ‘Update Customer’ which is where the changes will be entered. It also tells you how to access the various fields as well as the necessary action to be taken to:

  • update the contractor’s designatory details to include setting the ‘RLS’ and ‘Inhibit all Customer Output’ signals
  • allow scheme output to be issued to an agent
  • amend the scheme address and contact details as well as amending other scheme data such as inactivity start and end dates, the contractor’s preferred method of filing their monthly returns and entering the dates of any Employer Compliance Reviews carried out and so on.
  • update or add scheme specific agent details.

Temporarily Inactive Contractors

Where a scheme has both PAYE employees and subcontractors (PSC) and the employer ceases temporarily to make payments to subcontractors, you will need to change the CIS scheme record to set the contractor’s period of temporary inactivity on the contractor’s CIS record. You should refer to the action guide at CISR67630 for more information on periods of temporary inactivity.

Inhibit Output Signal

When a customer dies the CIS system will automatically ‘inhibit’ the output of CIS correspondence such as returns. In doing so, an ‘inhibit output signal’ will be set on the CIS record. However, there may be occasions when you will need to set the signal manually, for example, where a customer has no fixed address or is a complaint case.

Before you consider setting the signal manually, be sure to check whether or not an agent is authorised to receive correspondence. If so, consider whether it is still appropriate to inhibit output. If it is, select ‘Update Customer’ from the CIS main menu, and select on the ‘inhibit output’ box in the ‘Registration Details’ window.

Remember that, once the signal is set, no automatic CIS correspondence will then be issued until such time as the signal is removed.

Changes in Scheme Type

Remember that the closure of a PAYE scheme in error will result in the closure of the CIS contractor record. For example, where a scheme type of PSC exists but the employer no longer has employees and payments to subcontractors are continuing, you will need to amend the scheme type to XP. If the scheme is closed in error, you should re-start the scheme on EBS using the appropriate re-start date, this action will also open the CIS contractor scheme record from the same date.

You should note that where the scheme type needs to be changed from ‘PSC’ to ‘P’, before 23 November 2009 you had to make that change after the 6 April following the year during which the contractor last paid a subcontractor. ‘Inactivity’ was also set on CIS using the function ‘Update Customer’ (see CISR67630) from the month following that for which the subcontractor was last paid up until and including the month ended 5 April following this.

Since 23 November 2009 it is now possible to make the change from ‘PSC’ to ‘P’ during the year using EBS once that change has been made, a period of ‘Inactivity’ is automatically set on CIS following the date of the change. Penalties will therefore not be issued for any return periods falling after that date.


A Contractor makes their last payment to a subcontractor on 5 October 2009 (they have a PSC type scheme), and they will continue to have employees. The Scheme type is changed on EBS from PSC to P for 2009-10. Once you have updated EBS it will still continue to show the scheme type as ‘PSC’ for 2009-10 but, the Scheme type for 2010-11 onwards will now show as ‘P’. To prevent CIS penalties from being issued for the months after 5 October 2009, ‘Inactivity’ has automatically been set on the CIS record from 6 October 2009 to 5 April 2010.

Issue of Monthly Return

Certain signals set on the SA and COTAX systems that feed information through to the CIS system or the other feeder systems will cause the monthly return issue to be discontinued. They are the following:

  • RLS
  • Abroad
  • Deceased
  • Insolvency.

Note: Remember that the link to the EBS system will not pick up changes made to the CIS record. To ensure that the EBS and CIS records match it is therefore very important that the Centralised Employers Team NICEO is kept informed of scheme closures and changes in scheme type. Only by doing this can you ensure that the EBS record is updated and the issue of unnecessary correspondence is prevented.