If you have not paid your business rates
You must pay your business rate bill, even if you have appealed against your property's rateable value.
If payment is not made according to the bill, the Council will take recovery action.
The recovery procedure is as follows:
A reminder notice is issued if a payment is missed. Only one reminder per year must be issued. This requires that the missing instalment be paid within seven days or the whole balance within fourteen days.
If payment is still not made, a summons will be issued.
If payment is made, but another is missed in the same year, a further notice will be issued. This is known as a cancellation notice. At this stage, you lose your right to pay by instalments and the whole balance becomes due within seven days.
A summons for non-payment will be issued if payment is not made within two weeks following the issue of a reminder notice, or if payment in full is not made one week from the issue of a cancellation notice. Initial costs of £100.50 are incurred at this stage.
If payment of the full amount on the summons is made before the Court date then that is the end of the matter.
If payment of the full amount is not made by the Court date, then the Council will apply to the Court for a liability order. If the Court is satisfied that the charge is due and unpaid, the liability order will be granted. Further costs of £20, payable by the ratepayer, are incurred at this stage. A liability order is a document granting the Council additional powers to recover the outstanding debt. These include instructing the enforcement agents (previously known as bailiffs).
What to do if you receive a reminder/cancellation notice or summons
Do not ignore the notice.
Additional information is provided with each document issued. However the following applies to all recovery notices:
- If you made payment by the due date, please contact us so that we can ensure that it is correctly allocated and that the notice has been cancelled.
- If you made payment just before the date on the notice, please allow a few days for the payment to reach your account. You should then contact us to check that it has been received and to clarify what else you need to do.
- If payment has not been made, then make the requested payment within the deadline in the notice.
- If you cannot make the requested payment then let us know. If your circumstances are going to change then we can see how this will affect your account. Depending on the recovery stage it may also be possible to make an alternative arrangement. If you are in severe financial difficulties you should also take independent advice.
- Ensure that all your future payments are made by the due date to avoid further recovery action. The best way to guarantee this is by setting up a direct debit.