The Tax Academy™ Guide. First published in April 2019 issue of Inside Time

Paul Retout (Tax Specialist and Tax Author)
The Tax Academy CIC
Unit 4, Ffordd Yr Onnen
Lon Parcwr Business Park
LL15 1NJ

01824 704535 Email:

Member of the HMRC Stakeholder Forum representing Prisoners
Member of the HMRC Voluntary Sector Tax Resolution Service (VSTRS)
Member of the ICAEW Tax Faculty

© The Tax Academy CIC

When released, if you plan to work in the Construction Industry you will need to register with the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). The CIS provides a framework for the payments made to subcontractors from contractors. Essentially this is to make sure that subcontractors pay the correct amount of tax. In this article I will focus on registering under the CIS as an individual. The scheme covers all construction work carried out in the UK, including jobs such as:

  • Site preparation;
  • Alterations;
  • Dismantling;
  • Construction;
  • Repairs;
  • Decorating;
  • Demolition.

You can be:

  • Self-employed;
  • The owner of a ltd company;
  • A partner in a partnership.
Registering with the CIS is critically important as any tax deducted needs to be credited to your personal tax account and linked with your National Insurance number. Under the CIS, a contractor must deduct 20% from your payments and pay this monthly to HMRC under the monthly Real Time Information Scheme (‘RTI’).

Contractors will deduct 30% if:

  • You are not registered for CIS;
  • They can’t verify who you are;
  • You give the wrong name for your business.

Tip: Contractor monthly statements

Always request from your contractor monthly statements showing payments made to you and the tax deductions. It is very important that should the contractor fail to make the corresponding payment of your tax to HMRC, the statements they give should be enough for HMRC to credit your tax record.

How to register under the Construction Industry Scheme as an individual

To register for the Construction Industry Scheme, you’ll need:

  • Your legal business name – you can also give a trading name if it’s different to your business name;
  • Your NI umber;
  • The Unique Taxpayer Reference number (UTR) for your business (see below registering for self-employment);
  • Your VAT registration number (if you’re VAT registered) – (turnover is in excess of £85K).

If you already have a UTR number, you will retain that number when you leave prison and work as a sub-contractor. You will need to contact HMRC to re-open your self-employed self-assessment tax record.

Whilst in prison you can telephone the CIS helpline and register with the CIS, so you are ready to work for a contractor immediately upon release: 0300 200 3210 (CIS Helpline and telephone registration for CIS) or 01824 704535 (The Tax Academy CIC).

Opening times HMRC: Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm. Saturday: 8am-4pm.

By post: Write to HM Revenue and Customs for general enquiries about the Construction Industry Scheme including registration: PT Operations North East England, HM Revenue and Customs BX9 1BX United Kingdom.

Registering for self-employment

Registration for self-employment is in addition to registration as a subcontractor, and this is where some taxpayers become confused. This means that there are two separate registrations. When you contact HMRC to register as self-employed you need to ensure that you are then also registered as a CIS subcontractor.

In most cases you can register as self-employed by calling the Newly Self-employed Helpline: 0300 200 3504. Whilst you are in prison you can also ring The Tax Academy CIC for further guidance.

Furthermore, you can write to HMRC. Their address is: HM Revenue & Customs, Self-Assessment, BX9 1AS.

When you register for self-employment you will be provided with a unique ten-digit number – your UTR number. This is required when you register for CIS.

Self-assessment tax return

At the end of the tax year you will need to complete a Self-assessment tax return. It is very important to maintain your payment summaries from your contractors, so you have evidence that you have had tax deducted by them. There is nothing worse than finding out at a later date that your contractor failed to pay over your tax to HMRC.

Likewise, it is extremely important to keep a detailed record of your expenses such as travel costs/mileage, subsistence, stationery, equipment purchased etc.

  • Were you CIS registered before you entered prison?
  • Do you have outstanding self-assessment tax returns to complete?

We can help you complete these whilst in prison. You could be due a refund on your CIS deductions. The Tax Academy CIC will help you complete your tax returns.

Personal Bank Account

Coming Soon…