If payment is not made within seven days of the instalment date, we can start to take action against you to recover the unpaid business rates.
If you fail to pay the instalments as requested on your business rates bill a reminder will be issued.
If you pay the missed installment within seven days of the reminder, your installments will continue.
If you cannot bring your payments up-to-date within seven days of the reminder, you should contact us. It may be possible to make an alternative payment arrangement.
If you do not bring your payments up to date within seven days, and you do not contact us, you will be issued with a summons for the full outstanding balance of your business rates due for the year incurring an additional £80 costs.
If you bring your installments up to date after a first reminder, but then you miss a further installment, a second reminder is issued for the unpaid amount.
If you pay the amount due on the second reminder within seven days, your installments continue.
If you cannot bring your payments up to date within seven days you should contact us. It may be possible to make another payment arrangement.
If you do not bring your payments up to date within seven days, and you do not contact us, you will be issued with a summons for the full outstanding balance of your business rates due for the year incurring an additional £80 cost.
After two reminders, if you miss another instalment you lose the right to pay by the original instalments or previous arrangements, and you will be issued with a final notice for payment of the full outstanding balance of business rates due for the year.
Unless the full amount of business rates for the year is paid within seven days of the final notice, a summons will be issued, incurring an additional £80 costs.
If you cannot pay the full amount due you should contact us. It may still be possible to make another payment arrangement, but we will still obtain a Liability Order in the Magistrates Court. The Liability Order gives us powers to take further enforcement action incurring further costs.
If you do not pay the amount due on a reminder or final notice within seven days, you will be sent a summons for the full balance of business rates outstanding for the year plus £80 additional costs.
If you do not pay in full before the court hearing, a Liability Order will be granted against you for the unpaid business rates plus additional costs of £80. This gives us powers to take further enforcement action incurring further costs.
If you do not contact us to discuss your arrears we will have no alternative but to use enforcement powers to collect the business rates from you.
The Magistrates Court grants the council a Liability Order for the unpaid business rates and an additional £80 costs. The Liability Order gives us several options to enforce payment, these are:
- bankruptcy proceedings
- enforcement agent action
- committal to prison proceedings
- winding up proceedings (in the case of a limited company). Winding up proceedings can affect a company’s ability to carry on trading.
After the court has granted the Liability Order, if you still have not made a payment arrangement, you will be sent a letter giving Notification of the Liability Order. This letter gives you up to fourteen days in which to pay in full or make an arrangement to pay before further enforcement action is taken.
From 6 April 2014 a bailiff is known as an Enforcement Agent.
The Council uses both our own Enforcement Agent and outside Enforcement Agencies to recover unpaid business rates. If a debt is passed to an outside Enforcement Agent for collection, we will not enter into any further arrangement for payment.
The Enforcement Agent will administer the case but will usually accept a reasonable payment offer. The Enforcement Agent will contact you directly.
Brief Guide to Enforcement Agent Fees
Under ‘The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014’, Enforcement Agent fees are fixed by law and the costs cannot be reduced or waived.
If your debt is passed to an Enforcement Agent to collect the additional fees you have to pay are -
- an immediate fixed compliance fee of £75.00 which will be added to your debt
- if you still do not pay and an Enforcement Agent visits an additional fixed enforcement fee of £235 is added. For any debt over £1,500 costs are further increased by 7.5 per cent of the amount which exceeds £1500
- if you still do not pay and an Enforcement Agent removes goods additional costs of £110 are added. For any debt over £1,500 costs are further increased by 7.5 per cent of the amount which exceeds £1500
A petition can be presented in the County Court against any person owing at least £5000. Such proceedings are a very serious matter and if a bankruptcy order is made you can expect to lose your assets including your home.
The first stage of the bankruptcy process is service of a Statutory Demand for payment in full. It is essential that if you receive a Statutory Demand you deal with the matter immediately. Failure to do so could result in the issue of a Bankruptcy Petition. If declared bankrupt you could incur several thousand pounds of legal and court costs plus a County Court record that would affect your ability to obtain credit.
Anyone else you owe money to may join themselves to a petition making it more difficult for you to resolve the matter. If you owe us any kind of sizeable debt it is essential that you contact us and agree a programme of payments.
Committal to prison
If the other enforcement measures are not successful or not appropriate, and Enforcement Agents have been unable to obtain payment, a last chance to make a payment arrangement may be given.
If you again fail to make a payment arrangement, or an arrangement fails, you can be again summonsed to the Magistrates Court for an application to be heard for your committal to prison for non-payment. The Magistrates will hold a means enquiry and usually will tell you how much to pay each week to us.
If you still do not pay you could appear again before the court and could be sent to prison. At the committal stage you would usually incur court costs which you would have to pay in addition to the original debt.