Retailers will no longer have to pay business rates for ATMs outside their shops, following a court ruling.
The Appeal Court ruled that about £300m of previously paid business rates will now have to be refunded, in favour of a case brought against the government’s Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
Sainsbury’s, Tesco and the Co-op Group launched the appeal, arguing that ATMs are not part of their shops and therefore should not be included in rates calculations. These retailers will immediately benefit from refunds.
C-stores and supermarkets have been liable to pay rates on ‘hole in the wall’ cash machines installed on the outside walls of stores since 2010, but will now no longer have to.
ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said: “This decision will help maintain widespread access to free-to-use ATMs, something that has been under threat due to their excessive business rates bills and reduced payments from the banks to the operators of these facilities to their account holders.
“We have long argued that the Valuation Office Agency’s change to their ATMs rating policy happened too quickly with limited consultation. We welcome today’s ruling that confirms ATMs should not have been rated separately and hope this results in retailers being refunded unnecessary business rates charges, subject to any further appeals.”
The court also decided that the VOA should not be allowed to appeal to the Supreme Court, but can still petition the Supreme Court should it wish to do so.