Retailers are still being billed for ATM business rates, despite the Court of Appeal ruling the machines are exempt from separate rates.
In November last year, the court ruled there would be no additional business rates charged on cash machines inside or outside stores. The court also ruled retailers would receive rebates of £381m backdated to 2010.
According to real estate advisor Altus Group, 15,784 cash machines were liable for business rates before the Court of Appeal’s decision.
However, the firm’s head of UK business rates, Robert Hayton, claimed councils across the UK had sent bills to collect £47m ahead of the new tax year on 1 April. “Banks are closing branches and people are now facing an uphill battle to access their cash, yet retailers continue to be penalised for picking up the slack and providing a vital service,” he said.
Retailer Raj Aggarwal told RN he was sent bills by Sheffield City Council and Oadby & Wigston Borough Council to collect business rates of £6,600 on ATMs at his three Spar stores. “It’s confusing because we don’t know if we have to pay the rates or not,” he said.
A Bromley-based retailer added: “I couldn’t believe it when I got my rates bill for the year and it included another £3,000 for the ATM. I don’t know whether to pay it or not, it just doesn’t seem right.”
A Bromley Council spokesperson said its decision to charge was a result of an appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision by the Valuation Office. “We are simply following the Valuation Office’s guidelines,” they said.
“While new cases are being treated in line with the ruling, this does not alter historic cases, with the outcome of the Supreme Court challenge awaited.”
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