What happens if I don't pay my Business Rates?
If you have difficulty paying your Business Rates by the date the instalment is due, you should contact the Business Rates office to discuss your circumstances. Our staff will check your account and make sure your bill is correct (for example, you may be entitled to a reduction that you did not know you could claim).
Even if the bill is correct, we may be able to make an arrangement to defer payment to a later date, or re-arrange your instalments to help you keep your payments up to date. Contacting us early may prevent recovery action being taken against you later.
If your Business Rates are not paid by the date the instalment is due, a reminder notice will be sent to you. Only one reminder will be issued in any financial year. After the reminder notice has been sent, if you do not bring your account up to date, court action will be taken to recover the debt.
If your account is in arrears for a second time, a final notice will be issued which withdraws your right to pay by instalments, and if your account is not paid in full you will be summonsed to the Magistrates' Court. The Council will apply to the Magistrates for a liability order, which will then allow the Council to take action to recover the debt in full.
The Council may recover the debt in several ways:
- Appointing Enforcement Agents to recover the amount owned
- Applying to the County Court for security for the unpaid Rate against any interest held by the Debtor in the relevant business property
- Taking insolvency proceedings
- Applying for the Debtor to be committed to prison (if bailiff action is unsuccessful)
You will incur costs if court action is taken against you, and you will have to pay additional costs if Enforcement Agents are appointed. This is why it is important that you contact us as soon as you experience any problems paying your Business Rates.