What happens if I do not pay?
If you get into payment difficulties and you cannot afford your payments you should contact the business rates team straight away to see if we can help you by making a different payment arrangement.
Remember that paying by direct debit ensures that your payments are made on time every month. You also have the option of paying on either the first or the fifteenth of the month.
If you make an arrangement with us it will be subject to recovery action continuing to Liability Order stage. This secures the debt for the Council and enables us to take further action, should you default on your arrangement.
If you are awaiting the outcome of an appeal against your rateable value, you must continue to pay as billed (Rating Legislation specifies that you have no right to withhold payment pending an appeal. However, it does specify that you may be entitled to interest on any overpayment which arises as a result of your appeal).
If you pay late we will send you a reminder or final notice. We normally send only one reminder before taking further action. If you do not pay, you lose your right to pay by instalments. You must then pay the full amount that is due for the year. If you do not pay, we will send you a summons to appear in the Magistrates Court, which will incur further costs.
If the court decides you are responsible for paying and you have not paid in full, they can issue a liability order. This means that we can collect the money by:
- asking our enforcement agents to collect the debt by removing and selling some of your possessions which will result in you having to pay their fees
- commencing insolvency proceedings through the County Court
- applying to the County Court for a charging order on your property that enables us to force its sale or repay your business rates out of the proceeds of any future sale. This will also result in you paying additional fees.
In some cases, if you continue not to pay we can return to court. The court may decide to send you to prison, order you to pay, or tell us to write off part or all of the debt.
If you wish to discuss payment of your account, please contact the business rates team.