Business Rates - What happens if I do not pay?
If you do not pay your Business Rates, or pay late, you may be subject to recovery proceedings
If you don't pay your Business Rates as shown in your Business Rates demand we will send you a Reminder Notice. The Reminder Notice will tell you the amount you have to pay in order to bring your account up to date. You must pay the amount shown on the Notice within 7 days of the date shown on the Reminder. If you do not pay the amount due you will be issued with a court summons.
If you do not pay the Business Rates demanded in a Reminder Notice you may be summonsed before the Magistrates Court. This will add a cost of £45.00 to your account. The summons will include a court hearing date. If the amount due (including the extra cost) is fully paid before the court hearing date then there will be no further action.
If you cannot pay the full amount due before the court hearing date you do not need to attend court. We will ask the court to grant a liability order for the debt. This will add another cost of £50.00 to your account. Please contact us immediately to set up a special payment arrangement.
An extra £50.00 in costs will be added to your Business Rates account if a Liability Order is issued. A liability order gives the Council various ways to recover the Business Rates debt, these are explained below.
You do not have to attend the Court Hearing however if you do attend please note that the following are not legal defences against the issue of a liability order:
- You cannot afford to pay
- You have not been granted a relief
- The property should be exempt
- You disagree with the rateable value
The Council only have to prove to the Court that notices have been sent to you, not that they have been received by you.
If you have received a liability order have have not already set up a payment arrangement please contact us to discuss this
The Liability Order gives us the right to recover the debt through the following ways: -
The Council may decide to instruct an Enforcement Agent to collect the debt, should the Council do so the law allows for fees to be charged. These are detailed in the table below.
|Recovery stage||Enforcement charges|
|Enforcement Agent Visit to Take Control of Goods||£235.00 + if the debt is above £1500.00, 7.5% of the amount above £1500.00|
|Enforcement Visit to Remove Goods||£110.00 + if the debt is above £1500.00, 7.5% of the amount above £1500.00|
|Where Removal and sale takes place|
|Storage Costs||Actual costs|
|Locksmiths Costs||Actual costs|
|Any relevant Court Application Fees||Actual costs|
|Auctioneers costs where the sale is held on the auctioneers premises|
|Auctioneers Commission||Not exceeding 15% of the sum realised|
|Auctioneers out of pocket expenses||Actual costs|
|Reasonable Advertising costs||Actual costs|
|Internet auction costs||Actual costs|
|In some circumstances exceptional costs will apply||Agreed by Court|
The Council use 3 different Enforcement Agent companies, these are:
- Newlyns - 01604 633001
- Phoenix - 0844 824 3884
- Rossendales - 0844 701 3981
Please contact the Enforcement Agent direct to discuss a payment arrangement.
If you are struggling to pay your Business Rates, you may find some of the information on the Council's Support and Advice - Economic Development Team page useful. Alternatively, Business Link may be able to offer advice. You can visit the GOV.UK - Business and self-employed website or call 0845 6009006.
If your debt is over £1,000, we may apply for a Charging Order on any land or property that you own. This will enable us to force a sale of the property or settle the debt from the proceeds of any future sale.
Insolvency proceedings may be taken against you, which if successful may result in you being made bankrupt.
Committal to Prison
The Council may, in certain circumstances, apply to the Magistrates Court for a means enquiry. This may result in a prison sentence.