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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

Reminder and Final Notice

If you don't pay your Business Rates as shown on 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 shown a further notice requesting payment in full. After which if payment is not made a court summons will be issued.

Summons

If you do not pay the Business Rates demanded in a Reminder and Final Notice you may be summonsed before the Magistrates Court. This will add a cost of £45.00 to your account.

The summons will show the date of the court hearing.

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. You should contact this office without delay in order to set up a special payment arrangement, (see contact details, bottom of page). Any debt that is outstanding as at the court date (including special arrangements) will incur an additional cost of £50.00 for a liability order.

Liability Order

An additional cost of £50.00 is incurred 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.

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

Please Note: Basildon Council only has 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 but you have not yet set up a special payment arrangement, please contact this office without delay in order to set up a special payment arrangement, (see contact details, bottom of page)..

The Liability Order gives us the right to recover the debt through the following ways: -

  • Enforcement Agents
  • Charging Order
  • Insolvency Proceedings
  • Committal to Prison.

Enforcement Agents

Basildon Council may decide to instruct an Enforcement Agent to collect the outstanding debt. Should the Council do so, the law allows for fees to be charged. Fees are shown in the following table.

Recovery stageEnforcement charges
Enforcement Notice£75.00
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 CostsActual costs
Locksmiths CostsActual costs
Any relevant Court Application FeesActual costs
Auctioneers costs where the sale is held on the auctioneers premises 
Auctioneers CommissionNot exceeding 15% of the sum realised
Auctioneers out of pocket expensesActual costs
Reasonable Advertising costsActual costs
Internet auction costsActual costs
In some circumstances exceptional costs will applyAgreed 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.

Charging Order

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

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.

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