Verifying and paying subcontractors

How to verify a subcontractor

To verify a subcontractor you can:

  • use HM Revenue & Customs' (HMRC's) CIS online service
  • call HMRC's CIS Helpline
  • using the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or other third party software

Whichever way you choose, you'll need to have certain information ready. You'll need the following details about yourself to hand:

  • the name of your business or organisation
  • your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • your Accounts Office reference
  • your employer reference

You'll also need the following information about the subcontractor:

  • their name, or the name of their business or company
  • their unique taxpayer reference (UTR)
  • your Accounts Office reference
  • your employer reference

You'll also need the following information about the subcontractor:

  • their name, or the name of their business or company
  • their UTR
  • the partner's name if they're a partnership
  • their National Insurance number (if you know it) if they're a sole trader - unless they have applied for a National Insurance number, but not been allocated one yet
  • the partner's UTR or National Insurance number if they're a partnership (or, if the partner's a company, that company's UTR or company registration number)
  • their company registration number if they're a company

Finally, you'll need to be able to confirm that you have agreed a contract with the subcontractor, or that you have formally accepted their contract tender.

HMRC will check these details against their records, confirm whether the subcontractor is registered, tell you how to pay them and give you a verification reference number. You'll get a slightly different type of reference number if HMRC cannot verify that the subcontractor is registered with them, and, in that case, it's very important to keep a note of it.

Understanding and using CIS online.

Find contact details for the CIS Helpline on the HMRC website

Developed with:

HM Revenue & Customs