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HMRC internal manual

Machine Games Duty

Operational: Compliance checks: visiting premises: before the visit

The purpose of the compliance check is to make sure that operators declare and pay the correct amount of Machine Games Duty (MGD) on the machine games duty return and submit returns when they are due.

You should also identify and consider potential penalty behaviours (penalty risk).

As part of your preparation you should review the Standard Information Package (SIP) prepared by RIS and analyse any historic data already held within HMRC

Sources of information outside HMRC could include:

  • The Gambling Commission - who may be able to provide additional information from regulatory returns and compliance activity.
  • The local Authority - who may have issued permits or licences for the premises.

Guidance on how to do a compliance check is in the Compliance Handbook.

Most compliance checks will be carried out in an informal way, see Compliance Handbook, but you can use the information and inspection powers provided by the extension of 118BC of CEMA79 when a person does not co-operate with your check or there is unreasonable delay in responding to your requests for information or for appointments to visit businesses.

Guidance on powers of entry, search and inspection under CEMA79 can be found in the Enforcement Handbook.

When considering these powers it is vital that you can demonstrate that our actions are reasonable and proportionate in relation to the risk.

You might also consider calling for business records in advance of the visit to perform credibility checks on declared duty, e.g. request annual accounts, profit and loss account, request electronic/manual records for a desk audit. Guidance on reviewing records is in the Compliance Handbook.

There are some large businesses active within the gaming and gambling sector. If you think the business you are going to visit may be dealt with through HMRC’s Large Business  (LB) sector, you must speak to the relevant Customer Compliance Manager (CCM). You can find the relevant CCM on the LB site