Can I Claim A CIS Tax Refund?

Do you work in the Construction Industry?

If you are self-employed and registered for CIS tax, you could be entitled to a Tax Refund

It takes only 1 minute to check eligibility

We Check If You Have Overpaid

The average CIS tax rebate is £2,000

Check If Your Are Due A Tax Refund Now

Are you self-employed and registered for CIS tax?

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CIS Tax Refunds

By applying for your CIS tax rebate you can claim back what you spent on things like equipment, clothing, meals, and travel. Plus you get back your tax-free Personal Allowance.

Our team of experts can help you understand exactly what you may be entitled to reclaim Apply for your tax refund now

What Is A CIS Tax Refund?

The CIS Tax Scheme was launched to avoid the occurance of tax evasion within the Construction industry. It is a scheme where contractors deduct money directly from a subcontractor’s payments and pass it straight to HMRC.

All companies that employ subcontractors must:

  • Be registered with the CIS Scheme
  • Record any transactions between themselves and the subcontractor, and
  • Submit monthly returns to HMRC

Who Pays CIS Tax?

If you work for a contractor in the construction industry as a self-employed individual then, under CIS rules, the contractor is obliged to withhold tax on its payments to you. This is different from other self-employed individuals, who normally receive their payments gross.

Registered CIS workers receive their payments with 20% deducted for tax. If a subcontractor is unregistered, they will receive their payment minus 30% tax.

What Can I Claim Tax Back For?

There are a number of things that we can help you claim for on your CIS tax return to ensure you get back as much as possible:

  • Work travel
  • Some meals
  • Parking and tolls
  • Tools (and their cleaning and repair)
  • Protective clothing and gear
  • Public liability insurance
  • Phone bills
  • Home office – rent, stationary, postage
  • Professional memberships
  • Accountancy fees

Our tax refund calculator can help you work out what you are owed.

Can I Claim A CIS Tax Refund?

You can claim a repayment of your CIS deductions if you’ are

  • A limited company subcontractor, or
  • An agent of a limited company,


  • You have paid too much tax or National Insurance.

Our tax refund calculator can help you work out if you have overpaid.

Check Your Eligibility

More About The CIS Expenses You Can Claim

If you’re working under the Construction Industry Scheme there are many deductions you can make to increase your rebate

Travel Expenses

You can claim a rebate on transport expenses in one of two ways:

  • If you use your car for work 75% of the time you can claim 75% of leasing payments, fuel, car insurance, road tax, etc. This will make a big difference, especially if you bought the van specifically for work.


  • You can use HMRC’s simplified expense rate called “The Mileage Allowance“ which starts at 45p a mile. This is probably better if you owned the van already and if you drive for work often.

Meals On Site

If your contract length less than 24 months, then you can claim:

  • meals that you paid for out of your own pocket such as lunches at work.

Traveling There And Back

  • Such as bus tickets and tube fare…

Other Things You Can Claim

  • mobile phone bill – if you use your phone 50% of the time for work, then you can claim 50% of the bill
  • Builders Liability Insurance
  • Accountancy fees

Tools And Safety Equipment

You can only claim a CIS Tax Rebate for tools and equipment that actually belong to you and that you bought specifically for work. This might include:

  • power tools, drills, etc.
  • Reflective/Hi-vis vests,
  • Protective gloves,
  • Work boots,
  • Safety goggles,
  • Safety helmets, etc.

Not just this but…

  • Also their cleaning, upkeep and repair.


Believe it or not, you can actually claim some of your rent when:

  • You sometimes use your home as an office. Say you do this 10% of the time whilst bookkeeping, organising receipts/ bills, repairing your tools…ten this means you can claim 10% of your rent and bills like the electricity or the Internet.
  • Or you can just use HMRC’s simplified expense rate called “the home office allowance“: which starts at around £10 per month.

This option does not get you a great deal of money, though as HMRC can argue that construction workers don’t work from home that much.


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about CIS tax refunds:

What Must I Do Before Claiming?

  • You must be registered as self-employed
  • When you registered as self-employed, you must also have registered for CIS
  • Make sure that what you claim is only used for work and you paid for it “out of pocket”.

What If I Have No Receipts?

If you can’t find any receipts, don’t worry. You can still claim a flat £1,000 allowance (known as “the Trading Allowance”) so you can increase your CIS tax refund. For most people, this is actually more than their expenses anyway.

What CIS Expenses Can I Claim?

There are many CIS deductions you can use to increase your rebate:

  • Your own tools and equipment, plus their repair – anything that is not already provided by your contractor, and which you bought for work
  • Transport (including your own driving),
  • Meals at the contractor’s site
  • Mobile phone bills,
  • Builders Liability Insurance premiums
  • Plus a few allowances: home office allowance, the mileage allowance, etc

Enter your expenses into our tax refund calculator to find out what you are owed.

What Documents Do I Need For A CIS Tax Rebate?

The only things we need from you are:

  • The CIS payslips from your contractor
  • Receipts related to expenses that you want to claim
  • Your UTR number

What If I Am Working Under CIS?

If you are a construction worker working under CIS then it is likely that you are due a tax refund. This is because your contractor is deducting 20% (or sometimes even 30%, if you’re not registered under CIS) from your pay, and sending it straight to HMRC.

For most people this is more than they should be paying.

What you need to do:

  • make sure you are registered for CIS
  • File a Self Assessment tax return the following year and claim your CIS rebate.
  • The average rebate is £2,000.
How Do I Apply For A CIS Tax Refund?

To get the process started, simply answer a few simple questions on our CIS Tax Refund Calculator

Check If You Are Due A Refund