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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit: CIS: contractor's response: contractor advises that return is nil

Capturing nil returns

If the contractor advises that a return should be a nil declaration, no payments either gross or net were made to subcontractors:

  • ask the contractor to phone the CIS Helpline on 0300 200 3210 and they will log a nil return
  • warn the contractor that all late returns including nils are liable to penalties.

If any payments have been made to subcontractors in the return period the contractor must complete a CIS return. It cannot be a Nil CIS return if payments have been made even if no deduction of tax were made.

Note: You should not log nil returns yourself. Due to compliance issues, nil returns should only be logged by the CIS Helpline.

Noting IDMS records


  • select appropriate
  • select Other
  • make a FURTHER INFORMATION note ‘Nil return referred to CIS Helpline’
  • set a new BF date for 3 days later.