The government has received Supreme Court approval to appeal a £300m court ruling that retailers should no longer have to pay additional business rates for cash machines outside their stores.

Cash machine

The Valuation Office Agency (VAO) is set to challenge the Court of Appeal’s ruling in November 2018 that ‘through the wall’ external-facing ATMs should not be assessed for business rates separately to host stores, overturning an interpretation from the VOA in 2013 to charge separate business rates on external cashpoints.

The Appeal Court ruled that about £300m of previously paid business rates would have to be refunded - and retailers would no longer have to pay business rates for ATMs outside their shops. If the government’s appeal is successful, the ruling is at risk of being reversed. 

According to the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) Local Shop Report 2018, nearly half (46%) of convenience retailers currently offer a free to use cash machine, with 16% offering a charged cash machine.

ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said: “Continued delays in the business rates case for ATMs will be of concern to retailers who are already having to make difficult decisions about whether they can continue providing the service to local customers.

“Free to use ATMs are already disappearing as a result of interchange fee cuts, depriving communities of their access to cash. We urge the Government to change the policy for free to use ATMs, removing them from the rating list altogether.”