CIS Tax Returns

If you are working via the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), you’ll be required to file a self assessment tax return after your first year of trading and subsequent years. You’ll complete your tax return at the end of the tax year in April and pay any taxes that are due by the following January.

Construction worker tax returns

What is a CIS tax return?

If you're employed via the Construction Industry Scheme, it’s likely that you will need to submit a tax return to disclose your earnings for the financial year. 

Tax Return Dates

What are CIS tax return deadlines?

The deadlines for CIS tax returns is the same for all other tax returns - 31st January. You can read more about deadlines here.

If you're a contractor who pays subcontractor, you'll need to file your returns to HMRC by the 19th of every month following the last tax month.

Tax Returns for CIS

CIS Tax Returns

CIS tax returns are a fact of life for most people in the building trade. A mistake when filing a CIS tax return online can mean paying far too much tax on your pay. That's why RIFT has a specialist team of experts to offer CIS return help to construction industry workers. Take a look at our tax return calculator to find out more.

When you're paid through CIS, your contractor has to chisel off a hefty chunk of your pay before you get it. That money goes straight to HMRC. It's supposed to act as "advance payment" toward the tax and National Insurance you'll owe. Your contractor doesn't have any choice about this; it's just how the law works. From a subcontractor's point of view, though, it can be pretty painful. In effect, you're being taxed right from the first penny you earn, without getting your tax-free Personal Allowance. It's supposed to crack down on tax evasion in the construction industry, but in reality it's the honest subcontractors that are carrying the load.

The news isn't all bad, though. You can claim back the extra tax you've paid in your Self Assessment tax return. That's right: even though you've already had 20% of your money taken by HMRC, you still have to file a return. If you've paid too much tax, you can get a tax refund.

Tax Return Quote

CIS Contractor Tax Returns

What expenses can I claim for?

A key part of working with the Self Assessment system is understanding what expenses you can claim for. This is an area where a lot of people on Self Assessment miss out, and end up paying too much tax. Examples of allowable expenses in construction include:

  • Work travel costs.
  • Essential tools and equipment.
  • Materials you need for work.
  • General costs of running your business, from stationery to advertising.
  • Accountancy fees.

These are the essential costs of doing business, and they count against the income you're being taxed on.

CIS Tax Return Accountants

Already have an accountant? No problem!

Switching to RIFT couldn't be easier. If your current accountant's registered as your agent, we'll get you a new 64-8 form to sign. If needed we'll even explain everything to your old accountant, or give you a template of what to send to them, to cut out the hassle of you needing to have any awkward conversations.

A lot of people with their own accountants come to us for Self-Assessment tax returns if they’re working under CIS because our industry expertise means we can maximise your rebate. Our deeper specialist knowledge means we can easily handle those extra tricky and unusual rules that apply to CIS returns that a more general accountant may not know about. We charge a simple fee instead of an hourly rate, and even include all help and aftercare throughout the year. That's why so many people end up moving everything to RIFT.

If you're after a more in-depth or ongoing service, if you have a Ltd Company or are VAT registered, you should check out our full RIFT Accounting service. This is a great way to protect and grow your business, and it's ideal for Limited Companies and Partnerships. Packages cost as little as £45 per month. Find out more about RIFT Accounting.

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Here's what our customers say

We pride ourselves with being the first company in the tax sector to be awarded ServiceMark by the institute of Customer Service. That's because we're known for our friendly, helpful and jargon free approach to tax matters. But don't just take our word for it, check out our reviews. We invite our customers to tell us what they think about their experience with us on, an independent reviews site.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here you'll find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about working under the Construction CIS scheme.

Need more help?

Wondering if you can claim a tax refund or need to submit a tax return? Use our online tools to find out if you're owed money by HMRC.

Do I Qualify?

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