Last year I wrote about a couple of retailers who were shocked by bills received from Cashzone/Cardtronics for back taxes the company had paid to the local authority for their free-to-use ATMs. At the time I expected to hear from others, but perhaps other authorities are not so zealous.

Then Jimmy Patel, who has two Premier stores in Northampton (opposite each other, but that’s another story), rang in February to say that Cashzone had written to him asking him to sign an agreement that he would repay the amount owed to Cardtronics to date: £2,439. Repayment would be in instalments of £100 a month and a lump sum if the balance wasn’t cleared by the end of the agreement. It points out that this is in accordance with the contract and that Cardtronics is pursuing an appeal with the VOA regarding the liability.

What I find odd is, if Jimmy owes these rates, why didn’t the VOA bill him in the first place when they billed him for his premises? And why is Cashzone asking him to sign another bit of paper agreeing to this repayment? Is it just a belt and braces job?

The two retailers I reported on earlier – Tasnim Aslam and Gobin Dewan –  were, at the time, just watching and waiting. I checked back with them and they are still waiting and not paying.

Perhaps the final word should go to Mark Twain: “The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.”