CIS Subcontractor - Information from HMRC

In our experience, the Taxman is reluctant to provide subcontractors with a list of their Income and CIS Deductions (as held by HMRC) for any particular year.  They argue that the Subcontractor should retain the Monthy Statements that he / she is given.  That presumes however that the Contractor actually produces Monthly Statements.

Just a thought - but would it be possible for a Subcontractor to request the information under the Freedom of Information Act?  If so what is the Cost, how would they go about making a request and what are the deadlines for a response?

Comments
mr. mischief's picture

good thought!

mr. mischief | | Permalink

Well if you hit a bank with a Data Protection Act "producer" they may take a few weeks but you get a massive pile of data, all for a tenner!

It's a great way of putting the fear of God into a bank!

 

Personal data?

Stephen Morris | | Permalink

Section 1 DPA seems to classify these data as personal data but are they your personal data or your clients'?. Section 7 DPA allows a right of access to your personal data although 3rd party data can be redacted (removed). It does not give you the right to access a third party's data unless with the third party's consent. However, Section 29 (4) may allow the taxation authorities to opt of the Subject Access provisions set out in Section 7 even if the data are your personal data. It may be worth a tenner to ascertain whether this is so. If you are able to access the data you lose a tenner. If you are not able to access the data then HMRC will have to return it.  

A senior judge described the DPA as cumbersome. The legislation took 10 years to draft and it seems that complexity has deliberately been built into it so as to dilute the protections it gives to citizens. It is believed that the European Data Protection Directorate is not too happy at the way the European Data Protection Directive has been incorporated into UK law. 

 

johnjenkins's picture

When we

johnjenkins | | Permalink

had local offices HMRC would send a print out of what they had. Now, as I see it the records that the contractor send to HMRC every month (cis returns) are not part of the tax payers records, they are just a way that HMRC can check the validity of tax payers claim, so I really don't think they are under any obligation to comply. However under self-serve it would be great if we could see the figures.

Personal data

Stephen Morris | | Permalink

It is unlikely that a Freedom of Information request would succeed because personal data are not covered by FoI. The best chance is with the  DPA but even here there is doubt because of 3rd party restrictions and because taxation authorities may be exempt.

jimeth's picture

Different approach in Ireland

jimeth | | Permalink

It is interesting to note that under the new eRCT subcontractor tax scheme to be introduced in Ireland from January 2012, subcontractors will be able to log onto the Revenue Online Service and see a full history of all their payments and deductions.  However, Principal Contractors will still have to send all Subcontractors a paper "Deduction Authorisation" because such a low proportion of subcontractors are registered with the Revenue Online Service.

There are some elements of the forthcoming Irish approach which we could learn from in the UK, while there are major elements which would be most unwelcome in the UK.

The Law

Wolly | | Permalink

You should not need to go to the Revenue for details as under the CIS Scheme a contractor must privide all subcontractors paid under deduction with a statement for all months in which they pay them.

Page 39 of CIS340 also states that failure by a contractor to do this could lead to penalties of up to £3000.

It may be that your first point of contact should be the contactor and if they are unwilling to make the information available pointing out the above to them!!

I work for a Contractor and always send out monthly statements to subcontractors paid under deduction and find the biggest headache is that some sub-contractors are careless with their paperwork and loose these statements.

Perhaps if we charged for copies the sub-contractors would be more careful.

johnjenkins's picture

We all

johnjenkins | | Permalink

know how the system should work but the larger concerns do their own thing.

One of the main problems is that some contractors will put payments made on 5th April onto May returns, thereby saving the tax money. If there are 50 subbies involved it could add up to a few bob. Anyway what possible reason could HMRC have in not allowing a view only?????

CIS is not fit for purpose

talkinpeace | | Permalink

Let alone the contractors who deduct the money, do all the paperwork to the subbie but never actually file anything or pay any money to the Revenue before going bust.

At least with the good old CIS25 you had a carbon copy of what the contractor / subbie / HMRC had to start from.

Now we just have word processor documents.

Vat

chrispoppy | | Permalink

hi Can anyone advise me, the accountants have registered a vat return for january. we had a deduction of over pay £28,000 ,we have submitted another total for invoices to the value of £54,000 net vat to be added, they are now chasing me for 18k in vat but we have not been paid anything from our client who we are now taking to court , is there any way we can redo the vat as we have had no payment from the client but we are being charged for the vat on the invoices, as my accountant had submitted the invoices, help anyone

 

chris   

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The place to discuss accounting and tax issues specific to the construction industry, including CIS tax, VAT self billing and authenticated receipts.