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How to submit a CIS return in QuickBooks Online

Great news! You can now submit your CIS return directly to HMRC in QuickBooks Online.

Before you submit a return, make sure all the information in your Account and Settings is correct. To verify your details please follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Gear icon and select Account and Settings.
  2. Go to the Advanced tab and expand the CIS settings by selecting the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) option.
  3. Verify your UTR no., Employer’s PAYE reference no., and Accounts office reference no.

Once your details have been verified, please follow these steps:

  1. Go to Taxes and select CIS.
  2. Select File Return for the period you wish to submit.
  3. Double check that your details in the return are correct and complete, then tick the box: I declare that the information on this return is correct and complete. I understand that a false declaration can result in prosecution.
  4. Select the option Submit to HMRC.
  5. At this stage, you will be prompted to enter your HMRC credentials.
  6. Once you have entered your credentials, QuickBooks will begin connecting to HMRC. This usually takes around 60 seconds depending on how busy HMRC are. Please remain on the screen until you receive confirmation that your return has been submitted.
  7. Once you see the message that your return has been accepted by HMRC, you can close the message and return to the QuickBooks main screen.

Note: If you file your CIS return through QuickBooks, you will see the status in QuickBooks Online but not via the HMRC portal. Likewise, returns submitted via the HMRC Portal will not update the status in QuickBooks Online.

If you encounter an error, please verify that your credentials are correct before attempting to file the return again.

To account for the payment you make to HMRC following a CIS submission:

  1. In QuickBooks, select + New and create an expense.
  2. If you have created a supplier for HMRC, enter the name in the supplier field.
  3. Select the bank account from which you have paid HMRC and select the date the payment was made on.
  4. In the table section, under the Account column select the CIS Payments to HMRC account.
  5. Enter the amount you have paid HMRC.
  6. Select Save and Close.

Once you have submitted your return in QuickBooks (including the one that you've just submitted), all the transactions in previous periods will be closed. If you need to create or edit any CIS transactions in closed periods, you will have to unfile your return first. To do so:

  1. Go to Taxes and select CIS.
  2. Select View Return on the period you wish to unfile.
    1. Note: If you need to unfile multiple returns, do them one at a time starting with the most recent submission.
  3. Select Un-file. A message will appear asking you to confirm.
  4. Click Yes if you would like to continue.
  5. Select Done.

Note: QuickBooks will still keep a record of the filed period that has been unfiled on the CIS main dashboard for your record keeping. We recommend that you keep a personal backup of your records before performing these actions.

  • Check that all of the CIS credentials in Account and Settings are correct
    • Incorrect UTR (this is the 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference numbers)
    • Incorrect PAYE Ref
  • Make sure that all suppliers have the correct references and CIS setup
    • Incorrect A/O Ref
    • Incorrect subcontractor UTR no.
    • Incorrect NI no.
    • Incorrect verification no.
    • Special characters in subcontractor name (for example, A-Z, 0-9)
  • Login into the HMRC website to confirm that your Government Gateway credentials are correct
    • Incorrect user ID
    • Incorrect password

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CIS in QuickBooks and changes to look out for

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