From The Daily Mail:
An individual cash machine can attract a business rates charge ranging between £2,500 and more than £15,000 per year for each machine. The industry as a whole is facing a combined £500 million charge, according to some estimates. The rule about taxing cash machines outside shops as separate businesses was introduced in November 2013 by the VOA, which also ruled to backdate charges to 2010...
But the ACS, which represents over 33,500 local shops across the country including the Co-operative Group, Spar UK and Costcutter, has called on the Government to scrap it and make free ATMs outside shops exempt from taxation.
The ACS said: "We believe that 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... We therefore believe that the Government should consider removing ATMs from the rating list completely. The benefits of removing ATMs from the rating list would be that more consumers are able to access their cash free of charge and spend it in local shops and high streets."
Exactly, and well said ACS.
The presence of a cash machine on a high street benefits all cash businesses on the high street, not just the shop where it is, so this is spiteful and unnecessary. Presumably, the presence of a cash machine is reflected in higher rental values in the vicinity, so even under normal Business Rates rules, that cash machine boosts Business Rates revenues anyway.
The other trick they are missing is that it is far better to deliberately under-assess rental values and then charge a higher percentage tax rate.
For example, if the government wants to get £6,000 in rates from a shop with a rental value of somewhere between £10,000 and £15,000, it could assess it at £15,000 and charge 40%, resulting in a shedload of appeals arguing for an assessment of 40% x £10,000. If that shop is assessed at only £8,000 with a 75% tax rate, the yield is the same, but as the only thing you can appeal against is the rental value, and as it would be impossible to prove a rental value as low as £8,000 there is no point in appealing.
Friday, 14 August 2015
From The Daily Mail:
My latest blogpost: The madness of levying Business Rates on cash machines.Tweet this! Posted by Mark Wadsworth at 13:38
Labels: Business Rates