Difficulty paying your business rates bill
We are receiving a large number of emails and telephone enquiries. In the first instance please login to or register for MyServices which will give you online access to your Council Tax, Benefits and Business Rates Accounts. Most changes to demand notices can be seen immediately online, whereas the issue of paper bills may be delayed depending on staff resources and mail availability.
Annual business rates bills (demand notices) are sent out in March each year. The bill asks for payment over 10 months, starting on 1 April and ending on 1 January. View the payment options for business rates.
Contact us as soon as possible if you have difficulty paying your business rates so we can offer help and advice.
If a payment is missed you will receive a reminder and will have a further 7 days to pay before the whole balance becomes due. If payment of the reminder is made within 7 days, you can continue to pay monthly. If your payment is late again, you will receive a Final Notice that has to be paid in full within 7 days to avoid a court summons being issued.
If after a reminder notice has been sent business rates are not paid you will receive a summons that will cost you an additional minimum amount of £46.50. The summons tells you how much you owe and tells you when a Magistrates Court hearing is to be held.
At the court hearing we will ask the Magistrates to grant a Liability Order which incurs further costs of £27.50 This order, once granted by the court, allows us to take further recovery action to clear the debt.
Recovery action can take the form of:
- Payment by special arrangement - we will discuss and agree an appropriate payment plan with you
- An instruction to an external enforcement agent company to recover the debt on our behalf - this option could involve significant additional costs being payable by you directly to the enforcement agents
- Prison sentence - you could be sent to prison for up to 90 days for not paying your business rates
- Insolvency proceedings
When we instruct enforcement agents to collect a debt on our behalf, the information about the case is sent to an external enforcement company. For each level of action undertaken by the enforcement agents a specific fee is added. The stages are:
- Stage 1 (Compliance) - £75 fee added to the debt
- Stage 2 (Enforcement) - £235 plus 7.5% on debts greater than £1500
- Stage 3 (Removal of goods) - £110 plus 7.5% on debts greater than £1500
For help and advice on all aspects of business rates please contact the Business Rates Team.