I have a problem paying my Business Rates
Problems paying your bill
If you are having problems paying your Business Rates bill, always let us know as soon as possible by emailing us with details of your situation. If you don't let us know that you are having difficulty making regular payments, you may be charged further costs. We may be able to come to an arrangement that you can afford.
Changing your payment date
You can arrange with us to pay your Business Rates in weekly or fortnightly instalments for the current financial year. If you set up a Direct Debit you can pay on 1st, 15th or 23rd of the month.
If you are late paying your Business Rates bill, we will send you a reminder notice. If you do not bring the instalment or instalments up to date within seven days, you will be issued a Final Notice and will be required to pay the full amount you owe for the whole year.
If you do not make payment/s in accordance with the reminder notice, or we do not hear from you, you will be sent a Summons and incur a cost of £95.00. If you receive a Reminder Notice, Final Notice or Summons and are unable to pay, email us immediately to agree a suitable payment arrangement.
Unless the Summons is served incorrectly, we will not normally withdraw it. At the court hearing, which you have a right to attend (but you don't have to), we will apply for a Liability Order which will give us powers to collect the money you owe. You will incur a cost of £5.00 when we obtain the Liability Order, bringing the total in fees to £100.00.
We will tell you if we are granted a Liability Order and request that you complete a form about your financial position. If you don't complete this form we will pass your case to a debt collection agency where you could have in excess of £310 added to your outstanding Business Rate debt.
Enforcement Agents (Bailiff) collections and committal proceedings
If all other attempts to reach a payment arrangement fail, we will pass the debt to our debt collection agency to collect.
You will incur further costs and charges and if the Enforcement Agents are unsuccessful, we can apply to the Magistrate's Court for committal proceedings. We can also commence proceedings to make you bankrupt. As a result of either of these courses of action, you will incur further costs and charges.
Fee structure for Enforcement Agents as at 06 April 2014:
Stage Fixed fee Percentage fee Trigger Compliance fee £75.00 0% Enforcement Agent receives instruction Enforcement £235.00 7.5% of debt > £1,500 First attendance at relevant property Sale £111.00 7.5% of debt > £1,500 First attendance for purpose of transporting goods to place of sale
Please pay on time!
What happens if you don't pay your bill:
We are only required to send you one reminder notice in a financial year. If you pay late again you may be sent a final notice and lose your right to pay by instalments.
If you receive a final notice you must pay the full amount. If you are unable to pay in full you must contact us straight away so we can help you.
If you don't pay or contact us, we will issue a court summons.
If you get a court summons for non-payment, £95 of court costs will be added to your bill. You can pay in full to stop a Liability Order being granted.
You do not have to go to the Court unless you think the bill is not yours to pay.
After the court hearing, you will be sent a liability order notice together with a financial statement which you must complete and return by law. We will then evaluate your individual circumstances and usually you be offered an arrangement and will receive a letter confirming this.
Enforcement fees - Debt Collectors (Bailiffs)
After 21 days, if you haven't returned your financial statement and agreed how you are going to pay your arrears, we will pass your debt to our Enforcement Agents (previously known as bailiffs).
Fees, which could be in excess of £310, will be added to your outstanding Business Rate debt.