Retailers are being warned that if they have received backdated rates bills for ATMs they only have until March 31 to lodge an appeal.

PRA chairman Brian Madderson said he had received calls from retailers who had received bills for £12-14,000, covering the period back to 2010.

He said it appeared that local authorities were employing specialist consultants to identify properties within their areas with ATMs that have not yet been rated.

Cash machines on a retail property that are owned and operated by third parties such as Cardtronics, Cashzone, Note Machine, as well as banks / building societies have been identified and confirmed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) as being covered by the rating scheme. This includes all through-the-wall (TTW) machines both in an office and separate room and external pods. The exception is an internal machine that is freestanding within the shop area and is only accessible during shop hours.

Rates liability on previously unassessed ATM machines is being backdated to 1 April 2010, or the date when the ATM first came into use if later.

Madderson said all ATM rates assessments can be appealed by the landlord and / or the machine operator, but they must be entered by March 31 or rates payers will lose up to five years of backdated savings.

Appeals can be made using the VOA website