The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) plays a crucial role in the UK construction sector, especially for those transitioning from sub-contractors to contractors. This guide clarifies the steps to register for CIS as a contractor.
Starting as a Sub-contractor with a UTR Number
To begin your journey as a contractor in the CIS, it’s imperative that you’re already a sub-contractor within HMRC’s scheme. A critical component of this initial step is having a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number, which uniquely identifies you for tax purposes within HMRC’s system.
Government Gateway Account and Employer Registration
Presumably, you already have a Government Gateway account, which is essential for accessing various HMRC services. Log into this account to initiate the process. The first step here is to register as an employer. Although it might seem confusing or contradictory, registering as an employer is necessary under HMRC’s guidelines to manage payments within CIS properly, even if you don’t employ anyone directly.
Generating an Employer’s PAYE Reference Number
The purpose of registering as an employer is to generate an employer’s PAYE (Pay As You Earn) reference number. This number is crucial as it’s part of the framework that allows you to manage payments to sub-contractors and employees, aligning with HMRC’s view that those paying subcontractors should also have employees.
Registering as a CIS Contractor
Once you have your employer’s PAYE reference number, the next step is to register for CIS as a contractor. This is done online through your Government Gateway account. The process involves providing details about your role and confirming your contractor status within CIS.