Construction minister Nick Raynsford, who made a statement about the rethink of the scheme on Wednesday, said the review would assess the merits of the CIS6 card, designed for operatives and firms with a turnover of £30 000-5m.
He said: “I can see no reason why [scrapping CIS6] should not be looked at.” Many of those affected by CIS6 have complained about excessive paperwork.
The government has also announced that it is reducing the turnover threshold at which firms qualify for the CIS5 certificate from £5m to £3m.
Raynsford insisted that he wanted speedy action to resolve problems with the scheme by June. He said: “I want swift action. I don’t want this to drag on. It has been the cause of a lot of unhappiness.”
Liz Bridge, head of tax at the Construction Confederation, welcomed the initiative and Raynsford’s comments about CIS6. “CIS6 is where all the trouble is. Getting rid of it would be very welcome,” she said. “There is now hope that this review will be able to suggest short-term solutions or at least get some material to feed into legislative changes that may be needed in the 2001 finance bill.”
Responding to the cut in the threshold at which firms qualify for CIS5 vouchers, she said: “It will make little difference because most firms in that bracket have already qualified using other criteria.”
In her role as secretary for the industry-wide joint taxation committee, Bridge has been asked to approach firms to take part in the review.