CIS penalty scheme changes next month

Accountants with clients in the construction industry may like to remind them that the penalty system is changing in October for contractors in the Construction Industry Scheme.

CIS contractors who are newly registered will be subjected to an upper limit to some penalties for late filing of monthly returns. However, some other penalties will be less than those under the current regime.

CIS contractors should also be aware that if they have received a penalty for late filing prior to October, they can ask HMRC to calculate the value of the penalty under the new rules. If the new amount works out less than the amount already charged, HMRC can agree to reduce the penalty to that amount.

Contractors could also receive lower penalties if they have had more than one penalty levied on them, if the penalty for one monthly return was more than £100 or in the case of new contractors, if they have received penalties for two or more late monthly returns.

However, HMRC has warned that not all penalties will be lower and the minimum penalty for late filing remains at £100.

Participants in the CIS Scheme who are unsure how the new changes will affect them may want to contact their contractor accountant for advice.

Meanwhile, small business owners affected by last month’s riots have been warned that they should not make any staff redundant.

The head of employment law at Pannone, Jim Lister, said businesses will still have to pay employees who turned up for work even if the business was completely destroyed.

His comment came after Nat West and RBS said they will give small business customers affected by the trouble loans of up to £25,000.

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