Three of Britain's largest supermarket groups have won a legal victory worth up to £ 500 million, following a legal battle for interest rates at ATMs installed in their stores.
The appeal court ruled on Friday that ATMs located inside and outside of stores should not be held liable for further corporate rates, which are a form of corporate property tax collected by government.
Several retailers, including Tesco, Sainsbury & Co-op, had fought in court against the tax rules established by the Valuation Office – the branch of HM Revenue and Customs responsible for setting rates interest – who had claimed that ATMs should be further evaluated.
The court verdict means that supermarket chains are in line for a tip of millions of pounds from tax rebates, which Colliers real estate consultancy estimates is worth around £ 500 million.
The case dates back to a 2013 decision by the government to charge rates on "cash-in-the-wall", which were backdated until 2010.
Even if the reimbursement is small compared to the annual liability of £ 1.8 billion for the four largest supermarket companies – Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Morrisons – it still comes at a time when retailers are facing increasing pressure online rivals who pay less tax.
A Cooperative spokesperson suggested that the victory would help keep ATMs at its stores, helping people who rely on them as mainland banks that shut their branches up and down the country.
"The case had threatened the viability of the ATM network and risked the future of much needed banking services among the communities".
Banks have been heavily criticized by parliamentarians for closing hundreds of branches in recent years, particularly in rural areas, and often leave consumers with little chance, but to use ATMs or ATMs that charge a fee.
The work estimates that 60 bank branches and 250 ATMs close each month and promised to ban ATM fares and stop branch closures to help rejuvenate highways.
The court of appeal has refused to grant the permission of the Evaluation Office to ensure that the case is heard in the Supreme Court, although it may petition for an appeal.
An agency spokesman said: "We are considering the implications of the court's appeal decisions."