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CIS deductions: which expenses can you claim?

We've updated this guide on 12th February 2021

If you’re working under CIS (the Construction Industry Scheme), There are a ton of CIS deductions you can use to increase your rebate:

1. Car and van expenses

You can claim transport in one of these two ways:

  • do you use your car for work 75% of the time? Then you can claim 75% of leasing payments, fuel, car insurance, road tax, etc. Pretty good if you bought the van just for work.
  • or you can simply use HMRC’s simplified expense rate called “the mileage allowance“: it starts at 45p a mile. Better if you owned the van already and if you drive for work often.

2. Your own tools and safety equipment

You can only claim tools that actually belong to you (not your contractor) and that you bought for work:

  • power tools, drills, etc.
  • reflective vests, protective gloves, safety helmets, etc.
  • but also their cleaning and repair.

3. Meals on the site, travel to and from site

If your contract length is under 24 months, then you can claim:

  • meals that you paid for out of pocket: work lunch, the food at the contractor’s cafeteria, etc.
  • transport to and from the construction site: bus ticket, tube ticket, etc.

4. Rent

You can actually claim some of your rent:

  • do you sometimes use your home as an office? Say, 10% of the time, organising receipts, repairing your tools, etc? Then you can claim 10% of your rent and bills like electricity or the Internet.
  • or you can just use HMRC’s simplified expense rate called “the home office allowance“: it starts at about £10 per month.

Neither of these can get you a lot of money, though – HMRC can argue that construction workers don’t work from home that much.

5. Other things you probably didn’t know you can claim

  • mobile phone bill – if you use your phone 50% of the time for work, then you can claim 50% of the bill
  • Builders Liability Insurance premiums
  • accountancy fees (including our fee at TaxScouts).

What you need to do before you can claim something

Is it worth claiming these CIS deductions?

Probably not.

If your expenses are under £1,000 per year, don’t bother with the receipts.

Just claim your £1,000 tax-free allowance instead.

You can also use this CIS calculator to figure out which is the better option for you.

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