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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

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


CISR51000 Information contents



Where a CIS subcontractor record cannot be found at the time of first contact by a contractor, the company 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 a subcontractor company, link an unmatched VR number to the COTAX UTR and CIS record of the company, and issue a CIS316B 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 company ‘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 ’Update Unmatched Verification’ window which should now show the subcontractor details.

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

  • Company COTAX UTR or Company registration number (CRN). (The CRN includes 2 letters before a series of numbers however the CRN shown on CISR will be without the 2 letters. For example the actual CRN is CL0383491 but the system will show 0383491. You should ignore the letters and match only the numbers).
  • Name or trading name of the Company matches that held on CIS

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.

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 COTAX reference or CRN

Suggest that they may not be registered for COTAX and CIS and offer to arrange for the issue of CT41G and CIS305 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’.