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Small shops could face huge bills after ATM business rate changes

18 Aug 2015

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called for the Government to exempt ATMs from business rates, as changes to the way they are taxed could leave small shopkeepers facing significant bills.

About 60% of convenience stores currently offer ATMs for their customers to use, but the ACS claims that the way business rates are calculated means that the service is becoming financially unviable for more and more smaller shops.

Business rates can cost convenience stores up to £15,000 per machine – and now the charges are going to be backdated to 2010 by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), potentially leaving some stores with bills running into tens of thousands of pounds.

The ACS has warned that the changes could lead to more shops having to introduce charges for using cash machines.

A spokesperson said: ‘We believe ATMs are a high street enabler providing shared benefits to a range of traders, allowing consumers to access their cash and spend it within their local communities’.

In response, a representative of the VOA said: ‘We are currently reviewing ATM sites to ensure all sites that should be assessed are correctly rated. This treats all businesses equally, and ensures they pay their fair share of the overall business rates bill.

‘We will continue to consult with the machine operators who will be affected by this exercise.’