Since 2004 the Construction Industry Scheme has been in place to regulate tax payments between contractors and sub-contractors for construction work. Sub-contractors need to be registered with the scheme or face payments being retained in lieu of tax by main contractors. A recent case where a contractor refused to pay an archaeology company because they were not registered was brought to a successful conclusion by reference to the FAME Business Information Service (BIS).

The clear advice is that professional services (like archaeology) are excluded from the scheme. There is no requirement for archaeological companies to register with CIS and no grounds for retention of any fees. It should be enough to reference this exclusion in the Finance Act 2004, but if members continue to experience problems, seek help through our BIS.