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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

Register and maintain subcontractor: the registration process: applications from non-residents and companies not incorporated in the UK

CISR42600 Action guide contents


Under CIS, all subcontractors carrying out construction operations in the United Kingdom are advised to register for CIS. If a subcontractor does not register they will be subject to a higher rate deduction on all payments made to them. The same applies to non-resident subcontractors. It does not matter where the payment is actually made; if the construction work is carried out in the UK then the Scheme applies to that payment.

To register, a subcontractor first needs to be registered for Self-Assessment (SA). Most non-resident subcontractors will not have a NINO that can be verified so will therefore need to call in for an identity check. See the guidance at CISR42170 for applicants who do not hold a UK verifiable NINO and the guidance at CISR42150 and CISR42160 about the identity check and acceptable identifying documents.


Note that any reference to a non-resident business also includes any subcontractor or contractor operating from the Republic of Ireland (Eire) where they have no UK base and are not liable to Corporation Tax (CT) in the UK.

Individuals and partnerships

Refer to the SA Manual at SAM100000 onwards for detailed guidance on setting up SA records for individuals and partnerships. The general intention is that the records for these non-resident subcontractors will be dealt with in the office covering the area in which the construction work is carried out.


Specialist PT is responsible for all 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.

NINO checks

Any cases of non-resident applications that result in a validated UK NINO need to be looked into as they indicate a mistake or possibly a cause for concern. Any such case that is not readily resolved as a mistake should be referred to a Higher Officer or Senior Officer for reference (See CISR97030) to the CIS Advisory Team.

Other sources of information on non-residents

An HMRC booklet, CIS340 is available and outlines the scope of the Construction Industry Scheme for non-resident subcontractors and contractors. Subcontractor individuals, partnerships or companies with questions on permanent establishment and/or questions about Double Taxation Agreements should contact Specialist PT (see CISR97040).