Reailers will no longer have to pay rates on their ATMs after a successful legal challenge in the Appeal Court by several retail giants and the ATM operator Cardtronics.
The news was welcomed by PRA chairman Brian Madderson, who commented: “It is fantastic news that the Appeal Court has confirmed that ATMs will no longer have to pay rates.
“This will benefit all those that still use cash on a regular basis and were desperately worried as banks and post offices closed branches and PRA members had to start charging or see the through-the-wall (TTW) ATMs removed.”
Since 2010, supermarkets and convenience stores, including petrol filling stations, have been liable to pay business rates on Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
The ruling by the Appeal Court not only changed this but also means that £300m already charged will have to be repaid.
The ruling also applies to internal cash machines which the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) had also wanted to rate in the same manner as external TTW machines. It is understood that VOA and local authorities will have to refund some of the payments taken since 2010 but the mechanics and timing have still to be advised.
Madderson met with Nicky Morgan MP (chair of the Treasury Select Committee) earlier this year to explain the serious issue of rates on cash machines.
The problem of unregulated hand car washes (HCW) paying zero tax was also discussed during the meeting and PRA highlighted that the Treasury could raise over £1bn a year by tackling these HCW operators.
Madderson added: “Experts suggest that the Treasury will lose up to £50m a year from the Appeal Court decision on ATMs and taxing hand car washes would provide a quick and easy solution.”