'Around 10,000 cash machines at supermarkets and small shops risk being shut down in a courtroom battle over business rates.
The businesses are locked in a high-stakes fight over whether ATMs owned by a shop should pay additional rates.
A ruling is expected by the Court of Appeal within weeks – and if it backs the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) which oversees business rates, then thousands of cash machines could become unprofitable and shut down.
But if the supermarkets win, then the VOA will have to cough up nearly £500m in back taxes covering 15,500 machines, according to research by consultant Colliers International.
John Webber of Colliers said: 'We hope the courts see sense. If the VOA gets its way at the Court of Appeal, there is no doubt many big stores would be ripping ATMs out of their stores to avoid the extra business rate tax bill. Ultimately, it will be the consumer that suffers.'
If a shopkeeper has a hole-in the-wall ATM facing out onto the street, this is treated as a separate premises to the store and charged its own business rate.
But internal cash machines, and external ones facing land belonging to the business such as a supermarket car park, do not pay separate rates.'
Read more: The £500 million fight to save 10,000 free cashpoints: Supermarkets and small shops argue against additional business rates charged for ATMs
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19 February 2019
The town with NO free ATMs: 24,000 residents of Burslem have to pay up to £3.50 every time they want cash
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