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  3. Self-Employed & The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)

Making sure your UTR number is registered under the CIS scheme

If you're planning to work under the construction industry scheme you'll need to let HMRC know.


Under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), contractors deduct money from a subcontractor’s payments and pass it to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The deductions count as advance payments towards the subcontractor’s tax and National Insurance.

Contractors must register for the scheme. Subcontractors do not have to register, but deductions are taken from their payments at a higher rate if they’re not registered.

This means if you don't let HMRC know, an automatic 30% deduction will be applied to your payment (rather than the typical 20% CIS deduction). 

You can find helpful resources here: 


If you've not registered with HMRC as self employed before, you'll need to follow the steps below
  1. Register online by creating a HMRC online account
  2. You’ll receive a user ID
  3. Log back into the HMRC online account, select “add a tax”, and then “Self Assessment”
  4. Select “Sole Trader” from the options
  5. Enter the date you started your self-employment
  6. Submit more details, including your National Insurance Number 
  7. Describe the work you do
  8. Review and click “submit”
  9. You’ll get a letter with your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number by post
  10. You’ll also receive another letter within 10 working days with an activation code. You’ll need this code to activate your UTR

If you are already registered as self employed with HMRC, you'll need to make sure you've done the following too:

    1. On the official HMRC website, select the option to register for CIS using your government gateway ID
    2. Choose your CIS payment status (net pay or gross pay)
    3. You’re all good to go! 


HMRC operate a CIS helpline as well as online services, so if you need a hand or have a question, you have two options:

  • Give them a call on 0300 200 3210
  • Ask HMRC’s digital assistant