Unpaid Business Rates

Effects of not paying

We must pay the Government’s share of Business Rates and a tariff within a strict monthly timescale starting every April.

If we fail to collect the Business Rates by the deadline, it will affect our cash flow, budgeted income and the funding of local services to the community.

Late or non-payment of Business Rates can increase the level of Council Tax or could cause a reduction in the level of local services to all Ratepayers and Council Taxpayers.

Recovery action

If payments are not made as prescribed on the Business Rates Demand, a Reminder Notice is issued demanding payment of the arrears. Only one Reminder Notice is issued.

If payment has not been made within seven days, then within a further seven days the balance of the year's rate must be paid in full, revoking any instalment plan.

Should payment remain outstanding, a Summons will be issued and it will be referred to either a Magistrates Court or a County Court.

Magistrates Court

If a Magistrates Court Summons is issued it would be for the purpose of obtaining a Liability Order. Should this happen, we will seek reasonable costs in taking this action.

If a Liability Order has been granted and a voluntary agreement to pay has not been made, or where an agreed payment plan has not been maintained, we may refer the debt to an approved Enforcement Agent for collection or to an Insolvency Practitioner.

County Court

If we pursue the matter in the County Court, a County Court Judgement may be granted and costs awarded (costs will vary depending on the level of the debt).

If a County Court Judgement is awarded this will affect the Ratepayers credit rating.

If the debt remains outstanding we will either refer the debt to an approved Enforcement Agent for collection, to an Insolvency Practitioner or seek a Charging Order on the property.

Enforcement Agent and Insolvency Practitioner

When Enforcement Agents are instructed to recover outstanding rates they have the power to remove goods, furniture, fittings and equipment to cover the value of outstanding rates charges and fees incurred. 

The enforcement agent will charge you a £75 compliance stage fee as soon as they are instructed to collect. If they then have to visit your premises, another £235 enforcement fee (plus 7.5 per cent of any value of the debt over £1,500) will be payable by you. A sale stage fee of £110 (plus 7.5 per cent of the value over £1,500) also applies for attending premises to remove goods or prepare for the sale of goods.

If the Enforcement Agent is not successful in collecting full rate charges and costs in that way, then we have the ability to take proceedings for committal to prison or for bankruptcy where the Ratepayer is a sole trader. 

For limited companies who are in arrears, Billing Authorities, or Solicitors/Insolvency Practitioners acting on their behalf, can initiate liquidation proceedings in order to recover the outstanding rate charges and any fees incurred.