In a break from the constant corona virus content, we are bringing you a summary of the recent case of supermarkets verses the Valuations Office.
In 2013 retailers began to receive separate business rates bills for the number of cash machines they had on their premises, with demands backdated to 2010. Whilst many retailers started removing cash machines from their premises to reduce this expenditure, (a reported 559 cash machines were removed from retailers during 2019 in order to cut their rates bills), the bigger supermarkets decided to challenge this through the courts.
Supermarkets won the first ruling in 2018, being told they were not liable for separate rates on cash machines, but this was challenged by the Valuations Office.
On Wednesday 20 May, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the retailers which could see an estimated £500m being refunded. Whilst this may be welcome news to retailers, councils will have to find further funds to pay an industry that is already exempt from paying business rates this year owing to corona virus (we nearly got to the end of the article without it being mentioned…).
This judgement provides clarity on an issue which is long overdue and it may see the return of cash machines to the high street, if it still exists after lockdown.