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Appeal court rules that ATMs no longer have to pay rates

PRA 09/11/2018

“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”, said Brian Madderson, Chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), representing 70% of all UK forecourts. 

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 went even further and declared that £300 million already charged would have to be repaid. Sainsbury’s, Tesco, the Co-op, as well as ATM operator Cardtronics, had taken the case to Appeal.

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.

Mr Madderson met with the Rt Hon 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 £1 billion a year by tackling these HCW operators.

Madderson continues, “Experts suggests that the Treasury will lose up to £50 million a year from the Appeal Court’s decision on ATMs and taxing hand car washes can provide a quick and easy solution”.


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*Check with your professional rating advisers but backdated refunds before 1/4/17 will only be given where there is an outstanding appeal (either on the petrol station or the ATM) which enables the VOA to merge the ATM back into the PFS (at nil value)

About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.