Supermarket, shop and petrol station owners who have previously been charged business rates for having an ATM located on their premises may be eligible for refunds.
In 2013 it was decided that external facing ATMs should be treated as separate premises for business rate purposes. Back dated rates to 2010 had to be paid by many businesses. However, a recent case outcome means that this is no longer the case.
The Appeal Court case in question is Cardtronics Europe Ltd and others v Syke and others (Valuation Officers)  EWCA Civ 2472 (09 November 2018).
In the above case, the valuation officers argued that ATMs should be taken into account when determining the boundaries of a property. They said ATMs may form separate property and they should be charged business rates. The court ruled in favour of the opposing argument from Cartronics and the judge stated that ATMs were not to be regarded as separate property due to the functional dependence and being inseparable from the host store. Many businesses will have been charged additional rates prior to this ruling as ATMs were often not treated as being part of the retail offer. Many businesses have been charged rates since 2010 and they could be refunded.
Small shops and convenience stores will have been hit by these charges and so these, along with the big supermarket chains, will find this outcome of relevance. If you are a retailer and think you have been paying business rates for having an ATM on your business premises, contact our commercial team on 01616 966 229.