The scope of CIS

CIS Subcontractor

CIS covers all ‘construction’ work– this includes decoration, repairs, site preparation demolition and related work. Both those making payments and those receiving payments need to register. All business to business payments are covered.


1) Adrian is a self-employed electrician. He rewires a factory building for John Jones (a self-employed builder). Adrian’s work is covered by the Construction Industry Scheme.

 2) Jonathan is a self-employed electrician. He rewires Fred Smith’s private house. Fred Smith is a private householder. He pays Jonathan for the work. Jonathan’s work is not covered by the Construction Industry Scheme.

It is important to appreciate that if you invoice a customer, and you split the money with another person, then for tax purposes your relationship with that other person can be one of contractor and subcontractor.  This is true whether your customer is a private house holder or a main contractor.

If you are a CIS contractor, you will need to register under CIS as someone making payments under CIS. This is so even if you are already registered as a subcontractor. You may need to withhold tax from the monies you pay your co-worker. In this situation, any tax withheld from the monies you receive from a main contractor is all treated as yours and will be applied to your personal tax liability.

For more guidance see