Business Rates recovery and enforcement

An online payment being made on a computer

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To avoid the recovery process your Business Rates must be paid on the due dates shown on your bill.

If you have problems paying your bill contact the Customer Services team on 01642 397108 as soon as possible. Please see the following recovery process for further details.

 

Recovery Process


Late payments

To avoid receiving a Reminder or Final Notice for late payment, your Business Rates instalments must be paid on the due dates shown on your bill.

To avoid further action - pay your bill on the due date.

Reminder Notice

If you do not pay your bill on time we will send you a Business Rates Reminder Notice, including details of the amount you need to pay to bring your instalments up to date.

As long as you bring your account up to date and pay future instalments on or before the due date, no further action will be taken against you.

If all of your instalments have become due a Final Notice can be issued straight away without the need for a Reminder Notice.

To avoid further action - bring your account up to date within seven days.

Final Notice

If all of your instalments have become due; or if payment is brought up to date after we have sent you a Reminder Notice but you miss a further instalment, we will issue you a Final Notice.

The Notice will advise you that you have now lost the right to pay the years charge by instalments and full payment of the balance is due.

To avoid further action - pay the years balance within seven days.

Court Summons

If you do not pay the full Business Rates balance within seven days of receiving one of the above notices, we will issue a Court Summons, incurring extra costs. Your attendance at court is only required if you have a dispute that cannot be resolved with the Council.

To avoid further action - pay the full balance and the Summons costs.

Liability Order

If the Court decides that you are liable to pay the amount that is shown on the Court Summons, and you have not paid the full amount outstanding, it will grant a Liability Order. A Liability Order gives the Council enforcement powers to recover the Business Rates costs owed by other means including:

  • Referral to an enforcement agent
  • Bankruptcy/Winding up proceedings
  • Committal to prison

If the balance and the Summons cost remain unpaid on the day of the Liability Order Court Hearing, the Council will apply for additional costs.

To avoid enforcement action - pay the full balance, the Summons cost and the Liability Order cost.

 

Enforcement


Enforcement Agent

Your account may be passed to the Council’s Enforcement Agent for collection if you have not paid the debt in full or you have not adhered to an agreed repayment plan. This action will incur additional costs.

Bankruptcy/Liquidation

We can apply to the County Court for an individual to be made personally bankrupt or a company to be 'wound-up'. This is a very serious step that would affect your ability to get credit and could lead to you losing your home or business. You would also be liable for solicitors' costs and insolvency fees.

If you receive a statutory demand you should contact us immediately. If you do not settle the statutory demand, we will present a petition for bankruptcy or liquidation at court.

Committal to Prison

The law allows us to apply to the Magistrates' Court to have a person sent to prison where there is 'culpable neglect' or 'wilful refusal to pay'. This action would only be considered once all other methods of recovery have failed. This is the first stage towards you possibly going to prison.

If you do not pay in full, you must go to court at the time and date shown.

If you fail to turn up at court the magistrates may issue a warrant for your arrest. This procedure incurs significant additional costs to cover the Committal Summons (£305.00) and the Warrant of Arrest (£145.00).