RETAILERS no longer have to pay millions of pounds in business rates for cash machines outside their shops, following a ruling by the Appeal Court.
Since 2010 supermarkets and convenience stores have been liable to pay rates on the machines.
But the court ruled that about £300m they have already been charged will now have to be refunded. Part of that money will have to come from the government, and part from local authorities.
The shops that will immediately benefit include Sainsbury’s and Tesco, which had taken the case to appeal. Tesco said it welcomed the judgment: “We recognise the vital role that ATMs play in the daily lives of our customers and remain committed to providing this service to them,” a spokesperson said.
“We welcome today’s result and the confirmation of our belief that ATMs should not be separately rateable.”
Jerry Schurder, the head of business rates at Gerald Eve, which represented Cardtronics, said: “Retailers with ATMs within their properties will be extremely pleased at a decision that will lead to both refunds for previous payments backdated as far as April 2010 and reductions to future bills.
“The UK’s High Street is under enormous pressure from all directions, and a big part of this has been the unfair nature of the business rates system.”