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Machine tax rate – Budget announcements must be fair, says BBPA


The draft regulations that will determine the arrangements for the new Machine Games Duty (MGD) tax were revealed this morning. The tax rate and legislation for new tax will announced in the Budget on 21st March, and will be introduced on 1st February 2013. The BBPA, which attended today’s implementation working group for the tax at HMRC’s offices in London, says it is crucial that the new regime does not penalise pub businesses and does not introduce unnecessary costs and burdens.

The new tax will apply to Category C machines (“fruit machines”) and Skill With Prize machines delivering a prize over eight pounds. It will require licensees to complete a new return every quarter in addition to their VAT return, a cost which the BBPA estimates at £200 per pub, per year. Operators will need to register for payment of the new tax before the end of the year. HMRC will set up a website providing general advice on the process, and the BBPA will work with HMRC to provide specific guidance for pubs.

BBPA Director of Pub & Leisure, Martin Rawlings, who attended the meeting, comments:

“I am pleased that HMRC has asked us to be involved in this working group. We will work with them to ensure that the transition to the new tax arrangements is as smooth and efficient as possible, now that the Treasury has decided to bring in this new regime.

“As new tax returns mean more red tape, it is vital that pubs are not left worse off under the new system. In order for the tax to be revenue neutral, it needs to be lower than the current rate of VAT – The MGD rate needs to be nearer 15 per cent, because of the knock-on effect of VAT and the extra administration costs. We continue to press these points with the Treasury, to ensure the new regime is a fair as possible for pubs.”

Notes to editors:

MGD will replace Amusement Machine Licence Duty and VAT from 1st February 2013. Responses to the consultation on the draft regulations will be due by 25th April. The HMRC Implementation Working Group will meet regularly over the coming year.

Annual AMLD licences are still being issued, but by mid-year only monthly payment plans will be accepted. Any AMLD licences running past 1st February 2013 will attract a refund.

The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector. Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and own nearly two thirds of Britain’s 52,500 pubs.


Pubs, Gaming

For further information contact:

Neil Williams
Head of Media
Tel: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

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