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File a CIS return in QuickBooks Online

SOLVEDby QuickBooks420Updated over 1 year ago

You can file your monthly CIS (short for Construction Industry Scheme) return directly to HMRC in QuickBooks Online – we'll show you how.

From the CIS section, you can file CIS returns and track payments invoiced by your subcontractors. To submit CIS for contractors, this would be done via an Employer Payment Summary (EPS) as part of your Payroll package.

Before you file a return

Make sure the following CIS information is correct in your Account and settings.

  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number  
  • Employer’s PAYE reference number
  • Accounts Office (AO) reference number

File a CIS return to HMRC

  1. Go to Taxes and select CIS.
  2. Select File return for the period you wish to submit to HMRC.
  3. Check that your details in the return are correct and complete, then read the declaration and tick the box to agree.
  4. Then Submit to HMRC.
  5. You'll be prompted to enter your Government Gateway user ID and password.
  6. Select Sign in and submit. QuickBooks will begin connecting to HMRC. This usually takes around 60 seconds, wait until you see a confirmation saying your return has been submitted.
  7. Once HMRC accepts your submission, close the message to return to your QuickBooks.

Nice! You've successfully submitted your return. Next step is to record CIS payments made to HMRC.

Check the status of your CIS return

If you file your CIS return through QuickBooks, you can check the status of your submission on the CIS dashboard. It can take up to 72 hours to update the status on the HMRC portal for returns you submit via QuickBooks. Returns submitted via the HMRC Portal will not update the status in QuickBooks.

What to do if HMRC rejects your CIS submission

There are a few reasons why HMRC might reject your return, here's a list of things to check before you attempt to file again:

  • You may be using the wrong login details. Log into the HMRC website to confirm that your Government Gateway user ID and password are correct.
  • Make sure you're using the right 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number.
  • Double check that you're using the correct PAYE Reference number.
  • Check that your suppliers have the correct references and CIS setup:
    • Accounts Office reference number
    • Subcontractor UTR number
    • National Insurance (NI) number
    • Verification number
  • Remove any special characters and additional spaces in the subcontractor/contractor name field. Only use letters A-Z and numbers 0-9.

If you need to, here's how you can unfile a CIS return in QuickBooks. Check out the CIS guide for more help articles.

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