|CISR31600||Action guide contents|
This section serves as an introductory overview of contractor
returns. For deeper coverage see
CISR60000 Monthly Returns.
Contractors must make a return to HMRC every month showing the payments made to all subcontractors, whether paid gross or under deduction at the standard or higher rate. The return period covers an income tax month - which is from the 6th of one month to the 5th of the next.
In most cases the return will be automatically generated and sent out by the CIS system. The process will run over the following cycle:
The contractor return will be populated with details of the contractor scheme and details of any subcontractors shown on earlier returns or verified by the contractor within the previous three months. It will then be issued by the preferred method of contact to the contractor.
Although most returns will be generated and issued automatically by the CIS system, there will be occasions when you will be asked to issue one manually. This includes the following reasons,
A stock of forms CIS300(Man) and CIS300CS(Man) should be held in each
This applies to contractors who were (prior to
6 April 2007) using software to print CIS vouchers and
substitution continuation sheets for their annual return. These
contractors will have advised HMRC (the Helpline) that it will pose
problems for them to submit their monthly returns information
either by ‘paper’ or online. They will be sent a supply
of manual return forms and Printer Friendly Continuation Sheets
(PFCS) for a maximum of 3 months. The contractor will need to
contact the Helpline again after the 3 months are up if they wish
to extend the agreement.
The Helpline advisor will enter the period when it is agreed to allow the use of PFCS within Update Customer. The entry of a date in this field will prevent the issue of pre-populated returns until the date has passed.
This will occur when a contractor ceases to engage and pay
subcontractors in a particular month. If a contractor has not paid
any subcontractors in a certain month they must still submit a
‘Nil’ return. This is because without a 'Nil' return we
would not be able to distinguish between a contractor that had not
paid anybody in the period and a contractor who simply failed to
However, contractors who anticipate that they will not be paying any subcontractors in the next six months can indicate as such on the CIS300 return. The issue of the monthly return will then be suspended for six months as long as the contractor returns are up to date in both the current and the previous year. If they are, then an ‘inactivity’ signal will be set on the CIS record at the time the return is logged. For information on setting and unsetting the Inactivity signal see CISR67630. If the situation changes during that time and the contractor begins to pay subcontractors again they must either phone the CIS helpline or write to their HMRC office letting them know so that the issue of the monthly return is recommenced.