Non payment of Business Rates

You can pay your business rates in instalments either annually, six monthly, quarterly or monthly.  If you have not expressed a preference your bill will default to monthly payments on the 1st of each month over 10 months April to January.

New legislation introduced from 1 April 2014 now gives you the option to pay monthly on the 1st of each month over 12 months, April to March. 

If you opt to pay by direct debit you can select from three dates in the month either the 1st, 15th or 25th of the month over either 10 or 12 months.

Please contact our Business Rates Helpline on 01992 785584 if you wish to discuss the bill you have received.

What will happen if you don't pay?

First reminder

If an instalment becomes overdue, a reminder will be issued for the amount of the arrears.  If payment of this amount is made within seven days, your instalments can continue.  If you do not pay the arrears within seven days, you will lose the right to pay by instalments and the full balance on your business rates account will become due immediately.  If you do not pay the full amount shown on your first reminder a summons for non-payment will be issued by the Magistrates Court.   

Second reminder

If you have been reminded once and brought your payments up to date, but then miss a second instalment you will receive a second reminder.  If payment of this amount is made within seven days, your instalments can continue.  If you do not pay the arrears within seven days, you will lose the right to pay by instalments and the full balance on your business rates account will become due immediately.  If you do not pay the full amount shown on your reminder a summons for non-payment will be issued by the Magistrates Court.   

Final notice

If you miss any further instalments (during the same billing period) the full balance on your business rates account will become due immediately and a final notice will be issued.  You will have lost your right to pay by instalments.  If the full remaining balance is not paid within seven days a summons for non-payment will be issued by the Magistrates Court.

Summons

If you have not paid after receiving a reminder notice, or have not paid the whole amount of the final notice, you will be sent a summons for non-payment of your business rates.  If you pay the amount stated on the summons before the court date then the case will be withdrawn and not go before the Magistrates Court.

If part payment is received the balance due will be adjusted and the case will still be presented in the Magistrates Court where the Council will ask for a liability order to be awarded.  If such action is taken then court costs will be incurred.

Liability order

If the amount shown on the summons is not paid in full by the court date the Council will apply to the Magistrates Court for a liability order.  An order will be granted to the Council if the Court is satisfied that the Council has followed the correct procedures in billing and requesting payment of business rates and you are liable for the rates.  This action will involve costs of £20 in addition to the £60 costs shown on the summons (Regulation 12(6) S.I.1989/1058).

The liability order provides the Council with the option of the following enforcement powers:

  • Request information regarding your finances
  • To instruct enforcement agents
  • Insolvency proceedings
  • Proceedings for committal to prison

Important changes in the recovery of business rates