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Construction Industry Scheme: businesses based outside UK

Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) covers construction work done in the UK and applies whether you’re based in the UK or abroad. There are different registration processes for sole traders, partnerships and companies.

How to register

Sole traders and partnerships

For sole traders and partnerships you’ll need to follow the same CIS rules as UK-basedcontractors and subcontractors.

Business that are limited companies

For businesses that are limited companies you must register before you start work by contacting HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) non- resident specialist CIS team.

To register you’ll need the following documents:

  • if you’re a subcontractor you’ll need to complete the form CIS305 (subcontractor application form)
  • copy of accounts (subcontractor gross application only)
  • original tax clearance certificate from the tax authorities of the company’s home country
  • a completed form 64-8 if you have an agent working for you

Send all the information to:

CIS Registrations, Charities Savings and International 1 
HM Revenue and Customs 
BX9 1AU 

Telephone: 03000 516644.

If calling from outside UK: + 44 3000 516644.

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The registration process may take up to 6 weeks.

Double taxation agreements

This is when income gets taxed in 2 countries - the one where your business is resident and the one where you earn the income. It’s an agreement between 2 countries to reduce the amount of tax that’s actually paid.

The aim is to make sure you only pay the same, or close to the same, amount of tax as you would have paid if you’d earned the income at home.

You might be able to claim back some of the CIS deductions that contractors have made from your payments if you’re a non-resident subcontractor and your country has a double taxation agreement with the UK.

You won’t be exempt from UK tax if there’s no double taxation agreement, but CISdeductions contractors make from your payments count towards your tax bill.

Your tax bill for the year will be reduced by HMRC by the amount that’s already been paid in deductions.

Find out what countries have Double Taxation Treaties with the UK.

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