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What is CIS for contractors and sub-contractors?

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a kind of tax system which contractors in the construction industry use to report the pay details of any sub-contractors that they use. When a contractor uses a sub-contractor (rather than an employee), they deduct CIS tax each time they pay them, a bit like when an employer deducts tax from employees’ wages.

The contractor reports the details of what a sub-contractor was paid, and how much CIS tax they have deducted, using a CIS return. The contractor is also responsible for sending the CIS deduction to HMRC each month.

Read our guide to CIS, and learn more about our online accounting services for contractors.


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The number of monthly transactions you have entered based on your turnover seem high. A transaction is one bookkeeping entry such as a sale, purchase, payment or receipt. Are you sure this is correct?

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