Difficulty paying your business rates bill
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 £42.00. 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 £24.50 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.