Business tax – guidance

Machine Games Duty: use the online service

How to register, make changes to your registration, view your account and submit returns online.


You can use the Machine Games Duty (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
  • add, change or remove your authorised agent
  • view your online account and submit returns and payments

How to register

If you have a Government Gateway account as an organisation and already use HMRC Online services

  1. Go to File your Machine Games Duty return, select ‘Start now’ and log in as an existing user.
  2. At the ‘Your HMRC services’ page, choose ‘Register for HMRC services’, then ‘Register for Machine Games Duty’.

If you don’t have a Government Gateway account or you’re not registered as an organisation

  1. Go to the Government Gateway homepage and register as an organisation.
  2. When you reach the ‘Your services’ page log out without selecting any services.
  3. Go to File your Machine Games Duty return, select ‘Start now’ and log in as an existing user.
  4. At the ‘Your HMRC services’ page, choose ‘Register for HMRC taxes’, then ‘Register for Machine Games Duty’.

The ‘What you will need’ screen tells you the information you’ll need to register.

What happens after you’ve registered

HMRC will check your registration application and will contact you by email or post once your registration has been approved - this will take at least a week.

You’ll get your registration certificate and your activation code or PIN by post.

How to activate your account

Go to File your Machine Games Duty return and select ‘Start now’ to activate your services using HMRC Online Services. You should do this as soon as you can, as your code is only valid for 28 days.

If you don’t activate your account within 28 days, you’ll need to re-enroll and get a new activation code.

When you’ve used your code, you should destroy it securely.

Submit your return

Once you’ve activated your account you’ll be able to see which returns you need to submit online.

You won’t be able to submit a return for a particular period until that period has finished.

  1. Go to File your Machine Games Duty return, select ‘Start now’ and log in to HMRC Online Services as an existing user - have everything you need ready as you can’t save a partially completed return.
  2. Log in to the MGD Online Service and click the ‘Submit a return’ link from the ‘At a glance’ page.
  3. Select the period you want to submit a return for and complete the relevant boxes - you won’t be able to make any changes once you’ve submitted your return.
  4. If you work out that you don’t owe anything you must still complete a ‘nil’ return by entering ‘0’ in all boxes.
  5. Confirm the information you’ve entered is correct and re-enter your User ID and password on the ‘Security check’ page - select ‘Submit’ to send your return.
  6. On the ‘Acknowledgment’ page select the link for details of how to pay the tax due - you can take a copy of the acknowledgement screen by selecting ‘Print Acknowledgement’.

You can view or print returns you’ve submitted over the last 15 months from the left hand menu on the ‘At a Glance’ page by selecting the ‘View submitted returns’ link.

If you can’t submit your return and you get an error message

  1. Check everything you’ve entered.
  2. Check the service issues for any known problems.
  3. Print or make a note of the error message and contact HMRC.

Make changes to your return

If you find a mistake after you’ve submitted your return, you can correct it by either:

  • entering the amount that you’ve under declared in box 9 of your next MGD return
  • contacting Excise enquiries

Appoint an agent

You can appoint an accountant or someone else to act on your behalf when you register online, you’ll need your agent’s MGD agent reference number and postcode.

Your agent will need a Government Gateway identifier and must be enrolled for the Machine Games Duty for Agents online service.