Premises have until 11 January to register for the new MGD system which comes into force on 1 February 2013. MGD replaces both amusement machine licensing duty - the annual charge for making a gaming machine available for play - and standard-rate VAT on net takings.
Licensees can be charged a penalty of between 30% and 100% of unpaid tax. Penalties may be issued even if there is no tax due.
In December the Publican's Morning Advertiser revealed that 2196 pubs have had their online registrations approved and 603 have had their paper registrations approved. This is despite the fact that over 30,000 pubs are expected to be affected by the new tax regime.
HMRC has said it will make every effort to process late registrations but has warned operators that it cannot guarantee that applications received after 11 January will be processed by 1 February.
HMRC is strongly advising pubs to register is via its MGD Online Registration Service at www.hmrc.gov.uk/machinegamesduty/mgd-online.htm .
For more information on Machine Games Duty, visit the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/machinegamesduty/machine-games-duty.htm