Over £5,000 in business rates for installing an ATM machine

A shop was forced to pay £5,534 in back dated dues over four years for allowing a cash machine to be installed at its site.

The bill for the select and save in Derbyshire includes this year’s rates of £1,766 on top of its annual business rates up to November 1.

Mick Bagshaw and Ruth Perry, of the Staveley Independents group, fear this rate increase is putting a massive strain on small businesses and could force those who help to provide ATMs, not to do so.

Mr Bagshaw said: “The ATM is on privately owned premises which the owner is already paying business rates for and the customer using the facility will be standing or queuing on the shop’s forecourt. This community facility is being used by around 4,000 residents per week – that is on average two residents per household in Inkersall that rely on this much needed facility.”

The group fears such rates could force businesses to charge people for the use of ATM’s, increase product prices to cover losses and even force business closures. Sunny Mehat, of the select and save, said: “We aim to provide affordable services. We chose not to charge customers for this ATM. We can’t understand why we have to pay such rates when banks don’t.”

Billing authority Chesterfield Borough Council which issues rates explained to Staveley Independents it does not set rates but issues them according to Valuation Office Agency notifications. Staveley Independent said the VOA confirmed a review is underway to establish if ATMs should be assessed separately.

Welsh Politicians promise to create 50K jobs and scrap business rates for 70K

Two of Plaid Cymru’s most senior politicians have pledged to create and sustain tens of thousands of jobs for next May’s general election.

Party Leader Leanne Wood and economy spokemen Rhun ap lorwerth visited the renowned Clark’s Pies factory in Grangetown, Cardiff, to outline plans to improve procurement in order to generate nearly 50,000 jobs and scrap business rate altogether for 70,000 small welsh businesses.

Mr ap lorwerth said: “99% of Welsh businesses are SMEs – small and medium-sized enterprises – and they are the backbone of the Welsh economy. Plaid Crmru’s policies will help them directly.

“Wales is home to a strong entrepreneurial spirit and it is no wonder that over 230,000 small businesses now operate in Wales with 94.6% of them employing one-to-ten people.

“These businesses lie at the heart of our local communities and that is why we are committed to easing the financial burden on them by implementing a rates relief system that would assist 83,000 SMEs and take 70,000 out of business rates altogether.”

Holiday cottage owners overpaying by thousands on business rates

Holiday cottage owners in Wales could be paying thousands of pounds more than they should in business rates every year, a tourism expert has warned.

Ex-Wales Tourist Board chief executive Jonathan Jones told BBC Wales the way business rates are calculated for self-catering holiday homes must change.

The owner of a complex of holiday cottages in Pembrokeshire cut his rates from over £5,000 to zero by appealing.

Jan Meulendijk said the business would have closed if he had lost the appeal.

Mr Meulendijk runs Rosemoor Holiday Cottages and Nature Reserve in Walwyn’s Castle.

Businesses pay a percentage of what is known as rateable value in business rates, and those rates are set every five years.

In 2010, the rateable value for Rosemore more than doubled to £13,000. “Paying the rates was actually slowly beginning to kill the business“, Mr Meulendijk said. “Had we been forced to keep paying them we would have been forced to go under – it was more than the business could sustain.”

The rateable value of his business was re-set at £6,000 and, as firms receive rate relief on rateable values of £6,000 or under, it means he no longer pays the tax, saving more than £5,000 a year.

Mr Jones, now working as a tourism consultant, appeared as an expert witness for Mr Meulendijk at his appeal and believes the result could have consequences for hundreds of other holiday property owners.

“What you need is a system whereby self-catering businesses pay fair business rates”, he said.

“I don’t think anyone is talking that they don’t have to pay business rates – they are running a business bit it should be fair in relation to the contribution they make to the economy and to their business model.”

Posted on: 30/12/2014