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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

Monthly return: temporarily inactive schemes: inactivity requested by telephone or by letter

CISR67000 Information contents

If you receive a telephone call from a contractor wishing to tell you about a period of inactivity, you should refer them to the CIS helpline on 0300 200 3210.

Where the request is in writing, or exceptionally the contractor is not able or willing to call the CIS Helpline, the following steps explain how you set a period of inactivity requested by a contractor. Remember, where a contractor asks you to set inactivity you are obliged to do so. However, it is good Customer Service to, where possible, also take the time to ensure that the contractor’s monthly returns are up to date and, if they are not, to advise the contractor accordingly.

To check that returns are up to date, you will need to examine the return history. This is how you access ‘returns history’:

  1. Identify the customer (you will need either a UTR, NINO, Accounts Office reference or Employer Reference)
  2. Authenticate the customer (see CISR20000 for more details here)
  3. Select the scheme you wish to check from the list in the top panel. (Typically there will be just one entry here, but remember that contractors can have more than one scheme)
  4. From the main CIS menu, select ‘View Customer ’
  5. From the top tool bar menu, select ‘scheme returns’
  6. This will show you details of the returns history
  7. Check whether returns for earlier periods are up to date and, if they are not and the contractor is currently speaking to you on the telephone, advise him or her accordingly.

To set inactivity, proceed as follows

  1. From the CIS main menu, select ‘Update Customer’ (For more information on this, see CISR30000)
  2. If the designatory details are ok, scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the ‘next’ button
  3. Enter the relevant date in the inactivity start date boxes at the top right of the window (that is, under the ‘subcontractor first paid’ line). The format to use is DD/MM/YYYY. DD will always be 06 here. The default date will be 06 of the current period. The inactivity period start date is the 6t h of the current month. So, if today’s date is 23 May, the start date is 6t h May. You cannot set a retrospective inactivity period start date. That is, one prior to the current month.
  4. Enter the relevant date in the inactivity end date boxes at the top right of the window. The format to use is DD/MM/YYYY. DD will always be 05 here. The inactivity period end date will be five periods on from the current period. So, if today’s date is 23 May, period 1 is 6t h May to 5t h June. Period 6 is therefore 6t h October to 5t h November. Remember the only period appropriate to a requested period of inactivity is six months at a time. There is only one exception to this. See important note 2 at CISR67010 for more information.
  5. Scroll down and select the ‘next’ button at the bottom of the window
  6. Check or change the scheme agent details then select the ‘OK’ button. This will take you back to the CIS main menu.
      Important Reminder
You must set inactivity when you receive a letter or telephone call from a contractor requesting it. However, where, for example, the contractor is on the telephone, this is a good opportunity to check that his returns are all up to date and, if they are not, to advise him or her which are outstanding.