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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

Verify subcontractor: overview: update unmatched verification cases by contractor (company or unincorporated body)

CISR51000 Information contents

Where a subcontractor record cannot be found at the time of first contact by a contractor they will be treated as unmatched and a unique unmatched Verification Registration (VR) number will be allocated to the subcontractor. The effect of this will be that the contractor will be required to make a deduction at the higher rate from all payments pending successful registration of the subcontractor and issue of a CIS316B Tax Treatment Change Notification.

This action guide takes you through the steps that are required, to link an unmatched VR number with a registered company (or unincorporated body) subcontractor CIS record, prior to the issue to the contractor of notification of a change in the subcontractor’s payment status to either Net Payment or Gross payment.

Step 1 - Authentication

Use the ‘Authentication’ process to confirm that the contact/caller is the contractor or the contractor’s appropriate representative acting on their behalf. Refer to CISR22000 for a reminder of the data items to be supplied for you to do this. Having completed the authentication process you will be in the CIS Main Menu window.

* Select the appropriate contractor scheme name from those displayed under Schemes at the top of the page
* Select ‘Unmatched Verification’ from the CIS Main Menu at the bottom of the page.

This will take you to the ‘Match to Registered Subcontractor’ window.

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Step 2 - verify details

  • Enter the Unmatched VR in the ‘Verification Number’ field and select the [Retrieve] button

Where the Unmatched VR number is found this will re-display the ’Match to Registered Subcontractor’ window, which should now show the contractor details displayed on the left-hand side of it. You now need to search for the subcontractor who has now registered. To do this:

  • Enter the Company UTR or Company Reference Number (CRN) in the reference field. You should ignore the first 2 letters (which form part of the CRN number and in this instance enter only the numbers within the reference field. For example, where the CRN is CL0383491 enter 0383491.
  • Select the reference type from the drop down menu (for example, UTR or CRN)
  • Select [Retrieve] on the right hand side of the window

If the Company only trades as a Company and is not a partner in any partnership, then the ‘Match to Registered Subcontractor’ window will now re-display showing the subcontractor details on the right hand side of the window for the subcontractor whose verification you now wish to update.

If however the Company is also a member of a partnership this will take you to the ‘Select Partnership’ window to enable you to select the correct capacity for which the subcontractor is acting. (See the action guide at CISR51660 for partners).

A verification can be treated as matched to a registered subcontractor where All of the following details are confirmed:

For Companies:

  • Company UTR or CRN
  • Name or trading name of the company matches that held on CIS

Where the contractor does not know the VR number follow the instructions at CISR51710 to trace the unmatched VR number before coming back to this instruction. In all other situations where insufficient information is given by the contractor the verification should continue to be treated as unmatched /failed.

Successful match

Where the subcontractor details displayed match those now given by the contractor.:

  • Select the [Match] button.

This action will

  • link the unmatched verification period to the subcontractor record
  • result in the central issue of form CIS316B confirming

    • the payment status to be used for future payments
    • the subcontractor’s name/trading name and UTR held on the CIS record
  • create a Contact History Summary record.

Unsuccessful match

Where the subcontractor details displayed do not match those now given by the contractor you should check that you have correctly entered the Verification Number on the left-hand side of the window.

  • Verify the verification number with the caller
  • Select the [No Match] button.
  • Tell the contractor that until advised otherwise deductions should continue at the higher rate.
  • Advise the contractor to tell the subcontractor to check that their details are correct or that they should contact HMRC as a matter of urgency in order to complete the registration process.

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Step 3 - closing stages

Whether or not the verification number is matched with a CIS subcontractor record you will receive a ‘Would you like to match another?’ message


  • Tick the message box if the contractor has further cases to be dealt with.

This will take you back to the ‘Match to Registered Subcontractor’ window to enter further details


  • Leave the tick box blank.
  • This will display the message ‘Written confirmation requested?’
  • Tick the box if the contractor has specifically requested written confirmation of the subcontractor’s payment status on form CIS316B.


  • Leave the tick box as blank.

Whichever is chosen you should close the activity by selecting the [OK] button to return to the CIS Main Menu window.

The Contact History Summary record will be updated with details of the contact.

This process will be repeated for each case. The new VR number will cover that contact and all the other subcontractors for which registration details are now held. Any new unmatched subcontractors will be allocated an unmatched VR unique to that subcontractor and contact. Existing and still unmatched VR number cases will retain their original VR number and Payment status.

Note: It will not be possible to match an ‘unmatched verification’ to a subcontractor where a ‘matched’ verification number already exists for the subcontractor under that same unmatched verification number. When an attempt is made to do this a new window entitled ‘Verification number previously matched’ will display with the following error message ‘A matched verification under this verification number already exists for the subcontractor and scheme’.