MGD comes into force on 1 February 2013 and replaces both amusement machine licensing duty - the annual charge for making a gaming machine available for play - and standard-rate VAT on net takings.
Under the new tax regime pubs must register with HMRC by Friday 11 January 2013. Licensees can be charged a penalty of between 30% and 100% of unpaid tax. Penalties may be issued even where there is no tax due.
Last month, the Publican's Morning Advertiser revealed that only 1% of pubs (353 pubs) had signed up to the new tax regime. Since the PMA story, 2196 have had their online registrations approved, and 603 have had paper registrations approved.
HMRC has warned operators that it cannot guarantee that applications received after 11 January will be processed by 1 February.
HMRC is also advising operators that the simplest, quickest and most secure way to register is via its MGD Online Registration Service.
This has the big advantage of giving an immediate on-screen acknowledgement that HMRC has received the application.
and follow the instructions.
Businesses can also register for MGD using a paper application form, which can be downloaded from the HMRC website.