As someone who started their working life in the building industry, it’s a sector that has always remained close to my heart. I avidly read the construction industry magazines, websites and forums and keep up with the numerous updates about the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) from HMRC (for our clients). However a recent enquiry had me floored.
One of our clients wanted me to clarify the position on hiring a subcontractor to fit some Astroturf in one of his projects. Did this come under the CIS or not? Even though we have many clients involved in every sort of building, construction and landscaping, it wasn’t something that we’d been asked before. Is Astroturf flooring, or is it carpet?
Digging deep (and I mean deep) into the HMRC CIS website, I found the precise answer I was looking for. The answer is that Astroturf is not classed as ‘carpet’ and is therefore included in the CIS.
But the general CIS rules about the differences between flooring and carpet, and what constitutes construction work and what doesn’t, are so specific. Have a read of HMRC’s CIS manual if you’ve got a few hours to spare.
What interests me about their guidance is:
- the extraordinary detail it goes into about the difference between carpet and other floor coverings
- thinking about how many meetings, discussions and consultations it took for our friends at HMRC to come up with this definition.
Did a memo go around asking people to attend a meeting to discuss floor coverings? Did they start by asking attendees what they thought of when the word carpet was used? Did they provide definitions for people to mull over? I have no idea. If anyone knows how these things are decided upon, we’d love to know.
So read the guide. Or, if you prefer to spend your time more fruitfully, we can help on any aspect of the CIS scheme, subcontracting, payroll… or even Astroturf.