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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

Verify subcontractor: overview: verify subcontractor - sole trader


CISR51600 Action guide contents

Before making a first payment to a subcontractor the contractor, or their appropriate representative, must verifiy online with HMRC to confirm that the subcontractor is known to HMRC and registered with CIS and to obtain details of the subcontractor’s payment status. This process is known as ‘Verification’.

A contractor may contact HMRC:

  • by Internet using the Government Gateway

Identifying the subcontractor

It is important that HMRC can establish the identity of subcontractors working within CIS and for this reason the contractor must provide specific information about the subcontractor(s) that they wishes to pay under the Scheme. Namely all of the following,

  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • National Insurance Number (NINO)
  • Name, or trading name, known to HMRC

However, where a subcontractor has not yet been allocated with a NINO, verification may proceed in this instance without this information.

The CIS system will then check to see if the system holds a CIS record for the subcontractor.

Where you do have such a record we will confirm to the contractor that the subcontractor is registered for CIS, and tell the contractor to either make payments

  • Gross (without any deduction )


  • Net of a standard rate deduction.

Where you do not have a record or cannot find one for the subcontractor because of incorrect or incomplete information you should tell the contractor that the subcontractor does not appear to have registered for CIS. The contractor should be advised to make a deduction from the payment at a higher rate until the subcontractor can be verified.