Businesses of a reasonable size operating in the construction industry need to apply for and keep CIS gross payment status in order to be paid by their business customers without deduction of tax.
The good news is that from April 2016 the rules for meeting the tax compliance requirement of the gross payment status test have been relaxed. Now the business has only to:
- File all the monthly CIS returns due
- File the tax return for the business (income tax or corporation tax)
- Pay the CIS tax and PAYE due to HMRC
- Meet all requests by HMRC for the supply of accounts and other information about the business.
The previous tests to obtain gross payment status were very onerous. The business could fail the compliance test if it was late with more than three monthly CIS returns or with more than one tax payment for the business. This led to many businesses losing their CIS gross payment status for silly reasons, such as underpaying tax by tiny amounts or sending in PAYE returns a day late.
If you want to try for gross payment status but were put off by the requirements, give it another go as your business may now qualify.