Supreme Court to hear dispute over £500m business rates and ATM facilities

The Supreme Court has made the decision to grant the permission to appeal over the decision that ATM machines situated both inside and outside of retail premises shouldn’t be assessed for additional business rates. It could, however, be another couple of years at least before the issue is resolved in the Supreme Court.

ATM machines

Currently, any ATM machines are not charged additional rates if they are situated inside or outside of a retail premises. The VOA is appealing this as they think an ATM should attract an additional sum of money via business rates if it is situated outside of a retail venue. With an estimated £500m at stake, the VOA will be hoping that their appeal is successful.

Wider implications

The total number of cash machines liable if the appeal is successful is around 15,000. If the appeal is successful then there will be wider implications on other machinery that sits outside of a retail premises such as children’s rides, lottery terminals, vending machines and other items that traditionally sit outside a retailer. These will also potentially attract rates if there is a ruling in favour of the VOA.

Who owns these ATMs?

The ATM facility and the retailer are not owned or operated by the same company, for instance, Cardtronics has over 16,300 cash machines across the UK situated in or outside retailers.

There are several ways that the system can work, the ATM operator either pays the site owner rent which can be in the form of a share in revenue per transaction or they can be given a flat fee for the rental of the ATM space, either way, the premises are profiting from the machine being on the property.

As it currently stands over 80 percent of cash machines in the UK are free to use for the withdrawer, there are still however around 14,000 charging machines in the UK.

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