Has any projects-based member managed to successfully argue their case with HMRC (or a Main Contractor on a project specific basis) about remaining OUTSIDE the CIS scheme and avoid deductions?

If not, of those members who have been pulled into the scheme (and who use sub-contract engineers for installations), has anyone managed to do so purely as a ‘Sub-Contractor’?

 All replies will of course be treated with the strictest confidence.


  1. We’ve had to sign-up but if anyone has argued successfully I don’t see why we can’t try to extricate ourselves from the unnecessary admin-burden. 
  2. I had to write a headed letter saying were exempt as we were not conducting any structural improvements, basically we are only installing equipment to supplied service so that covered it, but going forward it would be good to know. 
  3. We do work as a subcontractor on CDM sites outside of the CIS system. It was actually the HMRC who would not give us CIS classification. 
  4. We haven’t managed to avoid CIS, as for the second question I’m not totally sure what’s being asked, BUT we do have experience of main contractors who fail to read the labour element of applications, against which they should levy the CIS, then they have made the deduction on the entire value. We then have to spend time explaining the error of their ways. Hope this helps.
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