If you are unable to make a payment or have missed an instalment, it is important for you to contact us as soon as possible to prevent further action. In most cases your business rates are payable in monthly instalments on the 1st of each month.
If you get into payment difficulties and you cannot afford to pay your instalments, contact us immediately to see if we can help you. We don’t promise to be able to help everyone, but the sooner you contact us, the better our chances of being able to help.
When a payment is missed
If a payment is missed and you do not contact us, we will begin recovery action.
Initially we will send you a reminder letter.
The reminder letter will request you pay any missing payment(s) as well as any payment due within 7 days of the reminder. This is a lawful requirement and the total shown must be paid within 7 days to stop further recovery action. If you are unable to pay the amount on your reminder you must contact us to prevent further recovery action.
If you do not make payment or contact us, the whole outstanding charge for the year will become due and we will issue you a Court Summons.
We will only issue one reminder each rate year. If you pay a reminder but fall into arrears a second time no reminder will be sent. We will instead send you a Final Notice.
If you fall in to arrears a second time during a year, the whole outstanding charge for the year will become due and we will issue a Final Notice. The amount on the Final Notice must be paid within 7 days to stop further recovery action.
If you are unable to pay the amount on your Final Notice you must contact us to prevent further recovery action.
If you do not make payment or contact us we will issue you a Court Summons.
If you have not fully paid or contacted us regarding a Final Notice or Reminder we will issue you a Court Summons and seek a liability order from the Magistrates Court. At this point you will also become liable for court costs. Court costs of £81.50 have been added to your bill when the summons was issued and must be paid in addition to the outstanding balance of your business rates.
If you do not pay the balance demanded in full before the court hearing date shown on the summons, the Council will apply for a Liability Order at the hearing. The cost of the liability order is £35 and is added to your bill, in addition to the summons cost of £81.50.
If the court issues a liability order to recover the unpaid business rates we can:
- Make a payment arrangement with you to pay off the debt which will also include court costs.
- Deduct the money directly from your benefits.
- Apply to your employer to deduct the money directly from your wages.
- Consider making you bankrupt or put a charge on your property.
Book a telephone appointment to discuss your business rates summons. We will contact you within 1 working day.
If you do not contact us about your arrears after receiving a summons, your debt may be passed to enforcement agents (bailiffs). At this point you will also become liable for substantial statutory enforcement agent fees.
If we are unable to recover the tax and enforcement agents have not been able to obtain goods to the value of the debt we can apply for your committal to prison.