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Machine Games Duty Online

Registering for Machine Games Duty (MGD), signing up to use HMRC Online Services and managing your online account

This guide will help you find out what you need to do to register for MGD and how to sign up to use HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Online Services or add the service to your existing online account.

IMPORTANT: You must make an MGD return and pay on time. There are penalties for missing the deadlines.

On the back of your MGD registration document you will find details of the months in which each of your accounting periods ends (four a year) - each accounting period ends on the last day of the month. After the end of each period, you need to make a return and pay what you owe by the last working day before 30 days has elapsed.

HMRC can help you to do this:

If you are an online MGD customer and you have given us your email address we will email you a reminder that your next return is due.

Our online service is quick and easy to use, however if you have chosen to file your returns on paper we will send you one by post at the end of each period. If you think you should have received a paper return but have not done so you should ring the Excise & Customs Helpline straightaway. You can't download a blank paper return from the internet.

On this page:

Machine Games Duty Online - an overview

If you are responsible for premises where dutiable machine games are provided for play you will need to register for MGD with HMRC. The MGD online registration service will be available from 1 November 2012. The online service is safe, secure and reliable and allows you to carry out many tasks online.

You can use the MGD Online Service to:

  • register your business or group for MGD
  • view your registration details
  • make changes to your registration details - for example your contact address (apart from Groups, but this facility will be available in early 2013)
  • add, change or remove your authorised agent
  • view your online account and submit returns and payments

Information you will need to hand before you register:

  • Gambling Commission Operators Licence number (if held)
  • types of any other licences or permits under which machine games are provided to play (if held)
  • address of any premises where machine games are provided for play which are not covered by any relevant licence or permits
  • approximate number of machines expected to be available for play
  • VAT Registration Number (if held)
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (if held)
  • National Insurance Number
  • the MGD reference of any person 'connected to you'
  • Company Registration Number including prefix and date of incorporation (this is for Corporate Bodies and Limited Liability Partnerships only)

How to register online for MGD

To register for MGD you must have a Government Gateway account for an 'Organisation' and have a User ID and password. If you are an 'existing user' of HMRC Online Services and you already have a User ID and password you can register for MGD and add it to the services you use. Please go to Section A.

If you are a 'new user' and signing up to use HMRC Online Services for the first time (or if you have an existing Government Gateway account as an 'Individual') you will need to create an HMRC online account. Please go to Section B.

Section A

1. Go to HMRC Online Services and enter your User ID and password in the 'Existing User' section and click on the 'login' button.

2. On the 'Your HMRC Services' page click on the 'Register for HMRC taxes' link.

3. On the 'Your HMRC Services Registration - What would you like to do?' page click on the 'Register for Machine Games Duty' link and click next.

4. You are now ready to start registering for MGD. Follow the process from number 8 in Section B to start the registration process.

Section B

If you are a 'new user' the following is an overview of the registration and enrolment process.

1. Go to HMRC Online Services.

2. Click on 'Register' in the 'New User' section.

3. Click on the 'Register for Machine Games Duty' link.

4. If you are a 'new user' and need to create a Government Gateway account (for an 'Organisation') click on 'Create an account for me'.

5. Create a Government Gateway account (About you) - type in your full name and e-mail address then confirm your e-mail address.

6. Create a Government Gateway account (Create password and confirm terms and conditions) - follow the notes about the format and make sure you confirm your chosen password (if you insert it incorrectly the system will advise you to re-enter your password). Read and confirm that you accept the terms and conditions of HMRC Online Services.

7. Create a Government Gateway account (Note User ID) - you have now been set up with an Online Government Gateway Account and your unique User ID for that account is shown on screen. Make a note of your User ID and password as you will need it to use the HMRC Online Service.

8. Your HMRC services - 'Register for Machine Games Duty (type of business)' page - select the type of business you want to register (for example sole proprietor) and confirm that you have read the terms and conditions.

9. Your HMRC services 'What you will need' will advise of the type of information you need to register.

10. Based on the type of business you have selected, you will need to complete a number of screens to complete your registration application. At the 'Registration summary' page you must complete all of the following sections before the registration can be submitted:

  • 'About You' (personal information about the person to be registered).
  • 'About the business' (business details, business address and business contact details).
  • 'Machine Games Duty registration' (MGD details, correspondence address, licence and premises details and return details).

11. Complete the declaration section and select in what capacity you are completing the registration. You will then need to re-enter your Government Gateway User ID and password (this is the information we asked you to make a note of please see number 7).

12. When the registration application is successfully submitted an acknowledgment reference number is displayed on screen. This is an acknowledgment of successful submission and not of actual registration.

13. If your application is successful you will receive your MGD Registration Certificate (including MGD Registration number) in the post or you can view it online.

14. Your HMRC services page will display the services you can use which will include MGD. Wait for your Activation Code (sometimes referred to as an activation PIN) to arrive in the post, which should be within seven days.

15. You should click on 'Activate your services' and use the Activation Code (which you should have received). Once you've used it, it can be securely destroyed.

16. Your MGD online registration is now complete and your HMRC Online Services account is now activated.

17. Next time you log into HMRC Online Services you will enter your User ID and password in the 'existing users' details.

You can access a step by step guide to registering online for MGD and signing up to use HMRC Online Services for new & existing users by following the link below. This document includes screens to help guide you through the registration process.

MGD Online Registration step by step guide (PDF 359K)

Register online for MGD

MGD Online Services for agents

The MGD Online Service for Agents allows you to carry out many tasks online on behalf of your clients. It's safe, secure and reliable. You can use the MGD Online Service for agents to:

  • set up online client authorisations for you to act on your clients behalf
  • make changes to your clients registration details
  • view online your clients' accounts to submit returns on their behalf

You must sign up for this service if you plan to use the HMRC Online Service.

How to sign up for Machine Games Duty for Agents

Activating the MGD Online Service

When you use the HMRC Online Service to register your business for MGD, you'll receive an Activation Code (also known as an activation PIN) through the post, in an envelope marked 'Government Gateway'.

You'll need the activation code to:

  • view your account
  • update your MGD registration details

Your Activation Code can take up to a week to arrive and is only valid for 28 days. If you don't activate the service within that period, you'll have to log on with your User ID and password and re-enroll for the MGD Online service. A new Activation Code will be sent to you in the post.

Log in and activate the MGD Online Service

MGD Register

When businesses register for MGD, HMRC will add the details to the MGD Register. It will be a public list of all MGD registrations and will be available on the HMRC website from 1 November 2012.

How to search for MGD registered businesses

Anyone can search the MGD Register online. To carry out an MGD Register search enter a postcode. The search result will display all businesses registered at that postcode. You can print search results for your records.

If a business which is registered for MGD has a number of different premises a search may display only their principal place of business. In this case, the MGD registration is valid for all of their premises (including those not displayed) provided that relevant licences or permits which allow the playing of machine games are held for those premises.

The information on the MGD Register is updated every night.

You are entitled to rely on the information on the MGD Register. This means that HMRC will not take any action against you if you act on the basis of information on the Register which was, in fact, inaccurate at the time you carried out a search.

Search the Machine Games Duty (MGD) Register

Help and support

If you can't find the help you need on the HMRC website you can call the Excise and Customs Helpline who will answer any queries about MGD Online Services, including registering for MGD and any general MGD enquiries.

Excise and Customs Helpline

You can also get help with using the MGD Online Service by following the links below. The step by step guide includes screens to help you through the registration process which you can print if needed.

MGD Online Registration step by step guide (PDF 359K)

Machine Games Duty