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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

Verify subcontractor: overview: update unmatched verification cases by subcontractor (sole trader)

CISR51000 Information contents


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


This action guide takes you through the steps that are required to identify and link an unmatched VR number to the UTR of a registered subcontractor and issue a CIS316(B) tax treatment change notice to the contractor covering future payments.

Step 1 - Authentication

Use the ‘Authentication’ process to confirm that the contact/caller is the subcontractor or the contractor’s appropriate representative acting on their behalf. Refer to CISR22000 for details of this process or use the authentication link for a reminder of the data items to be supplied for you to do this. Following completion of the ‘Authentication’ process you will be presented with 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.

Top of page

Step 2 - verify subcontractor, update unmatched VR numbers and check current payment status

  • 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 subcontractor details.

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

  • Name or trading name matches that held on CIS
  • NINO (where provided in addition to UTR) matches that shown on CIS for that UTR

Where the subcontractor 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 subcontractor 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 to the contractor 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 details displayed do not match those now given by the subcontractor you should

  • Check that you have correctly entered the Verification Number
  • Verify the verification number with the caller
  • Select the [No Match] button. A failed match attempt will be recorded in ‘View Contact History’ for the subcontractor
  • Advise the subcontractor that based on the details given you are unable to confirm their CIS registration and that deductions must continue at the higher rate. If the subcontractor insists that they are registered for CIS
  • Ask the subcontractor to check that their details are correct and call again with details of their SA UTR
  • Suggest that they may not be registered for SA and CIS and offer to arrange for the issue of CWF1 and CIS301 forms for completion.  See CISR41000 for more on applications and registration for CIS.

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’.