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Supreme Court hears £500m case on cash machines and business rates

The Supreme Court is this week (11-12 March) hearing an appeal from valuation officers over the rating of ATM machines and similar facilities.

In Cardtronics Europe Ltd & Others v Chris Sykes & Others (Valuation Officers) [2018] EWCA Civ 2472 the Court of Appeal ruled that ATMs inside and outside of stores should not be assessed for additional business rates.

The issue before the Supreme Court is: Who is the rateable occupier of the site of a cash machine whose operator is a different company from the occupier of the premises in which it is located?

The background to this is that cash machines in supermarkets are often operated by a separate bank rather than by the supermarket.

The Valuation Officers have listed the sites as separate hereditaments in the rateable occupation of the banks.

It has been estimated that £500m is at stake in the dispute.

The respondents in the case are Cardtronics UK; Tesco Stores; Tesco Personal Finance; Sainsbury's Supermarkets; Sainsbury's Bank; and Co-operative Group.

The case is being heard by a Supreme Court panel comprising Lord Reed, Lord Kerr, Lord Carnwath, Lady Black and Lord Kitchin.

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