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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Monthly return: issue monthly return: what if a contractor has more than one scheme?


CISR62600 Action guide contents

Under CIS up to 5 April 2007, contractors with more than one scheme had a unique link totheir UTR by what was known as a ‘scheme identifier’.

From 6 April 2007 though, CISR will work largely at scheme level. All contractors will have a UTR and each separate scheme will be registered under a separate Accounts Office (AO) reference. It is therefore the AO reference that is now the scheme identifier.

Under CISR then, each contractor has a UTR and one or more AO references.

However, regardless of how many individual schemes are linked to the sole trader’s UTR, a separate return will be issued (and must be completed) for each scheme, each month.

Elections under SI2005/2045 reg.3

Some contractors administer their operations from several different bases and a single contractor scheme can be difficult for these contractors to operate.

A specific election under SI2005/2045 reg.3 can therefore be made by a contractor to operate separate contractor schemes either for each distinct part of a business, or for different groups of subcontractors.

The election must be made in writing to an Officer of HM Revenue and Customs and must include:

  • sufficient information to identify each group of subcontractors a contractor wishes dealt with under a separate contractor scheme, and
  • a declaration that the contractor makes no payments under contracts relating to construction operations other than to subcontractors in the groups specified in the election.

Elections need to be made before 6 April in the year the election is to have effect.

However, there is a separate provision under Regulation 3 where a contractor acquires all or part of another construction business for which a contractor scheme already exists. If this applies, a contractor may elect to:

  • be treated as a different contractor in relation to acquired schemes or groups of subcontractors, whether or not an election is already in force in respect of existing subcontractors, or
  • to add some or all of the acquired subcontractors to existing groups of subcontractors in respect of whom an election is already in force.

Similarly the election must be made in writing to an officer of HM Revenue and Customs. It needs to be made within 90 days of the date of acquisition and has effect for the tax year in which the acquisition takes place.

To revoke either of these elections, notice must again be given in writing to an officer of HM Revenue and Customs.

If an election is already in operation, the notice of revocation must be before the beginning of the tax year for which the election is to be revoked.

If an election has not yet come into effect, it may be revoked at any time before the beginning of the relevant tax year.

A revocation does not preclude the making of a new election for the same or any later tax year.