11th February 2021
VAT – the latest VAT deferral scheme has been launched this week. Businesses that deferred VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make can join the new online VAT deferral payment scheme which will open between 23 February and 21 June 2021. The new scheme lets businesses:
- pay deferred VAT in equal instalments, interest free
- choose the number of instalments, from 2 to 11
To use the online service, businesses must:
- join the scheme directly rather than through an agent
- still have deferred VAT to pay
- be up to date with VAT returns
- join by 21 June 2021
- pay the first instalment upon joining
- pay instalments by Direct Debit
Full details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19
Scotland – We met again with Scottish Government yesterday and were joined by an official from Business Support to discuss our request for a separate fund for suppliers. He was not helpful and essentially said it was all too difficult and members should access the discretionary funding that has been supplied to local councils and which they are now beginning to roll out (and which was today doubled from £60 million to £120 million). Some members have tried and failed to get support under this scheme and indeed the previous framework fund that, whilst it referenced the supply chain did so in the context of perishable goods like food.
However, it is worth noting that the guidance to local councils from SG says in relation to the latest discretionary funding:
Precedence should also be given to businesses that have experienced disruption without having been specifically required to close or adapt their operations as a result of regulations. This may, for example, include businesses in the supply chain of or that derive a significant portion of their trade from closed or restricted sectors such as hospitality and tourism as well as companies impacted by travel restrictions
We are continuing to press for a separate fund for machine suppliers but whatever members should keep an eye out for the details of the discretionary funding available. Whatever, it is unlikely to be very much – Highland for example is offering £2,000 per business.
We have also continued to press the case for AGCs to be open in Level 3 on the assumption that the SG will reverse out of lockdown back through existing level restrictions.
And just to confirm, we had written confirmation from Kate Forbes this week that the extended rates relief does apply to amusement arcades and that the SG will look to extend this further depending on the UK budget on March 3rd.
Illegal Machines – the sale, supply and siting of machines Illegally has been a bugbear of the industry for decades. The internet has provided much greater opportunity for machines to change hands illegally and this has been a wide topic of conversation. I set out below (courtesy of Ian Eason and Debbie Hough-Bollard), the position on what you can and can’t do with various licences or permits. If anyone is aware of any illegal operator or any illegally sited machines please do let bacta know.
- Full Manufacture & Operating licence: To Manufacture, Supply, Install, Adapt, Maintain & Repair a gaming machine or part of a gaming machine.
- Operating licence, to Supply: Supply, Install, Adapt, Maintain & Repair a gaming machine or part of a gaming machine.
- FEC Licence : To operate an Family Entertainment Centre premises ( this license DOES NOT allow you to Manufacture, Supply, Install, Adapt, Maintain & Repair a gaming machine or part of a gaming machine. You are not allowed to repair your own machines either, you ARE NOT allowed to sell machines to anyone other than trading them in for newer equipment ) NB you can update to an FEC Linked Licence that allows you to repair your own machines, but it does not allow you to supply machines.
- AGC Licence: To operate an Adult Gaming Centre Premises, (this license DOES NOT allow you to Manufacture, Supply, Install, Adapt, Maintain & Repair a gaming machine or part of a gaming machine. You are not allowed to repair your own machines either, you ARE NOT allowed to sell machines to anyone other than trading them in for newer equipment ) NB you can update to an AGC Linked Licence that allows you to repair your own machines, but it does not allow you to supply machines.
- You can add on an operating license to both FEC & AGC licenses at an extra cost , (but as standard they do not allow you to do the supply machines part )
- You CAN NOT act as an agent or a salesperson for a company that holds an operating licence, unless you hold an operating licence yourself.
- You CAN NOT offer a repair service for gaming machines or parts from gaming machines , without holding an operating licence.
- You are able to obtain a permit to sell gaming machines (one off licence ) which allows you to sell legally [The Gambling Commission are reported to have said “You can obtain 2 permits per year, per person, if you apply for a third permit the Commission will treat you as requiring an operating licence; all transactions are monitored & logged”
- For Home Use only: This has been seen on a lot of social media sites, making the sellers think if they use this they are exempt from any issues, this is fiction, If you are selling gaming machines, you either need a permit to sell or you need an operating licence, this is a fact.
- The Gambling Commission have very little interest in Pre Legacy machines, there’s a large following of collectors & enthusiasts out there that collect machines from the early 1900’s to the early electronic machines from the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s and we will also see that people want the stuff from the 2000’s soon also, although these machines are clearly a gaming machine, they normally end up in collectors own collections, do not change hands other than normally to other collectors, and again if you are buying and selling more than 2 of these for commercial gain you will need an operating licence. If you are operating these in an arcade or premises again for commercial gain, you will need either an FEC or AGC licence.
Re-Opening – members may be interested in listening to this week’s very interesting Euromat Webinar on re-opening post lockdown by clicking here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yd70vOVrXRzLVSEmWwZlfIHtEK7Lc2HL/view