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How to Obtain a CIS Card

Updated March 23, 2017

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) card is a necessary plastic card that allows you to work legally as a self-employed construction worker in the United Kingdom. The card, which is issued only by the Inland Revenue, displays your name and occupation. The CIS established a set of rules for how payments to subcontractors for construction works must be handled by contractors in the industry, according to the HM Revenue & Customs website. Without your CIS card, you are illegally working, which could result into jail time or criminal fines.

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  1. Locate your nearest Inland Revenue office. Access the HM Revenue & Customs website and click on the "Contact US" link. Click the "Find A Tax Office" tab, then the "Tax Offices for the Self-Employed Inquiries" link. Enter your town, postcode or three-digit office code to detect your local Revenue office.

  2. Go into your local Inland Revenue office. Ask the representative for a CWF1 form, then fill out the form by answering questions pertaining to your self-employment.

  3. Give the application back to the representative at the Inland Revenue office, and they will send you an application to get your CIS card.

  4. Fill out the CIS application, then send it back to your local Inland Revenue office. The office will send you a card once they have verified your self-employment. This can take up to one to three months.

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