Cash machine access increased after £300m court battle

Shoppers will enjoy greater access to cash machines following an Appeal Court ruling that cuts taxes on retailers hosting the devices.

Shops with cash machines have had to pay higher business rates since 2013, when the government’s Valuation Office Agency department said they would be subject to separate business rates.

The decision was backdated to 2010, and retailers were faced with large bills from their local councils.

Real estate adviser Altus Group said the average yearly bill for each machine is £2,888.

The number of cash machines liable for business rates tax in England and Wales rose from 3,140 in 2010 to 15,422 this year.

Councils had an incentive to charge the higher rates on the machines because they have been able to keep 50pc of any business rate increases since 2012.

Normally councils keep a percentage of the business rates they collect, then pass the rest to the Treasury.

The tax decision threatened shoppers’ access to cash, already jeopardised by the closure of many regional banks and building societies.

But supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury’s and the Co-operative, as well as cash machine operator Cardtronics Europe, launched a £300m appeal against the decision.

Supermarkets argued that these machines are not part of their shops and so should not be included in rates calculations.

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