Business Rates Recovery

If you fail to pay an instalment by the date shown on the rate demand, a reminder will be issued. If payment is not made by the date shown on the reminder, your right to pay by instalments is lost and the full amount remaining for the financial year is due within a further period of seven days.

A maximum of two reminders will be served in any one financial year. (You will only receive a second reminder if you have complied with the terms of the first reminder and have again fallen behind with your payments).

The Council usually send a discretionary final notice after two reminders and before the issue of a summons, in order to give the taxpayers a further opportunity to pay and avoid costs and potential court action.

Following a reminder notice Customer Services staff may be able to make an arrangement to clear the arrears. As Direct Debit is the most efficient way to pay, we are usually prepared to spread any arrears over the remaining instalment period, provided a direct debit is set up with your bank and payments honoured.

If the full amount is still not paid a summons will be issued for the outstanding balance plus costs. This requires payment in full including costs before the hearing date shown on the summons. A copy of the notes sent with the summons will hopefully answer some of the more frequently asked questions.

If there is any balance outstanding, application is made on the hearing date at the Magistrates Court for a Liability Order with further costs if granted. The Liability Order allows various options to recover the debt such as Enforcement Agent action or insolvency/winding up orders.

Ultimately if Enforcement Agent action is unsuccessful action will commence for Committal to prison for a maximum of 90 days subject to an enquiry into means in the defendants presence at the Magistrates Court for Sole Traders or a winding up petition for Limited companies.

Any ratepayer experiencing genuine financial difficulties should contact the Councils Customer Services team - Telephone 01784 451499 at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss the possibility of spreading the outstanding liability over a period of months to help the situation. This is possible at most stages of recovery except when the Enforcement Agent holds the Liability Order when any proposed arrangement for payment should be discussed direct with them.

It should also be noted that the Council may continue recovery action and obtain a Liability Order in order to protect its position in the event of non payment. This would be made clear at the time of making the arrangement.