Everyone who is registered for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) with HMRC is required to submit a return on or before the 19th of each month.

If you have no CIS contractors in the tax month then a Nil return should be submitted. If you receive a penalty for a missed submission then it can be removed if no subcontractors were paid during that period.

HMRC penalties for late CIS returns


Delay in return Penalty
1 day late £100
2 months late £200
6 months late £300 or 5% of CIS deductions on the return (highest)
12 months late £300 or 5% of CIS deductions on the return (highest)



As a new contractor who hasn’t submitted a return under the scheme, a penalty will be capped at £3000. Once you have submitted a return this cap is taken away and you will begin accruing higher penalties.

Appeal a late CIS penalty

If you have received a penalty that you do not need to pay you can appeal within 30 days of the date on the penalty notice. You will be able to have the penalty removed if you haven’t paid any subcontractors in the period.

There are two ways to appeal your penalty:

Making a change to your return

You can contact HMRC if you wish to make a change or correction to your cis return. Use the HMRC CIS online service to make the change. Alternatively, you can call the CIS helpline.

CIS services

Looking to register for the Construction Industry Scheme? Whyfield can help you register and make sure you remain compliant with HMRC. Find out more about CIS and how we can support you.

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