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Council tax and benefits information

Due to planned work on systems from 4pm on Thursday 26 Feb we will not have access to personal information on council tax accounts and benefits for several days. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Read general information on council tax and benefits

Business rates (non domestic rates)

Find out more about business rates and how these are calculated.

Paying business rates

You can pay your business rates over 10 or 12 months. Tell us before April 2015 if you wish to change over to 12 monthly instalments for the next business rate year.

You can pay your business rates in several ways

Pay by Direct Debit: This is the most cost effective method. Complete a Business Rates Direct Debit set up form (PDF, 126KB) and we can make arrangements for payment to be deducted from your bank account. Payments can be deducted on the 1, 8, 15 or 25 of the month.

Pay online: Pay by debit or credit card using our online payments system.

Pay at a Post Office: Payment can be made at any Post Office. You will need to have a bill showing a barcode on the front. Payments by this method can take up to 5 working days to reach us.

Pay at payzone outlets: Just take your bill to anywhere which displays the payzone logo. You will need to have a bill showing a barcode on the front. Payments by this method can take up to 5 working days to reach us.

Make Bacs payments: You must quote:

  1. Your Non-Domestic Rates Account Reference.
  2. The council's Bank Sorting Code of 40-32-04 (HSBC Bank PLC, Market Harborough).
  3. The account to be credited is 81011561

Payments by this method can take up to 5 working days to reach us.

Read about all payment options.

Extra help with business rates

We can give relief on all or part of the bill for properties used by certain non-profit making organisations, in cases of hardship, or where part of a property is beyond use for a certain period. Read more about discretionary relief and how to apply.

Certain types of business in rural villages with a population of 3000 or less, may qualify for rate relief of 50 per cent. Businesses that qualify for this relief are:

  • Qualifying sole Post Office in the village, provided it has a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • Any qualifying food shop with a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • Qualifying sole public house provided it has a rateable value of up to £12,500
  • Qualifying sole petrol station in the village provided it has a rateable value of up to £12,500

We can give further relief on the remaining bill for these properties.

We can decide to give up to 100 per cent relief to any other business in such a rural village with a rateable value of up to £16,500. To do this we must be satisfied that the business is of benefit to the community and consider the interests of all Council Tax payers. Read more about discretionary relief and how to apply.

Business rates bills and recovering money

Annual business rates bills (Demand Notices) are sent in March each year.

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 it is not paid you will receive a summons that will cost you an additional minimum amount of £70.

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.

A summons costs a minimum of £70 to issue. 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. 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 it's 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