Business Rates - Struggling to Pay

If you are struggling to pay please contact us as we may be able to offer you a special payment arrangement.  We can also check that you have all the reliefs you are entitled to.

What happens if I don't pay?

We don't want you to get behind with your payments so we will send you a reminder if a payment is late.  If you don't pay within 7 days of getting the reminder you could lose the right to pay by instalments.

Should I wait for reminders?

No. You could lose the right to pay by instalments.  If we have sent you two reminders for late payment and any of your future payments are late, you will have to pay the rest of the year's business rates immediately.

What happens next?

Fourteen days after sending you a reminder, legal action can start. We will apply to the Magistrate Court for a summons to be issued. You will be notified of the date and time of the hearing together with the costs of taking this action.

If you pay the amount due, shown on the summons, before the day of the Hearing, no further action will be taken.

If you do not pay, the Magistrates must issue a Liability Order.

What is a liability order?

A liability order gives the council powers to collect the debt in various ways.

At this stage, we may still agree a special payment with you rather than use the liability order. If you break the arrangement, we will take further action.

With a liability order we can:-

Employ Enforcement Agents to collect the debt. The charges involved are set out in legislation. They can be considerable and you will be liable to pay them. The Enforcement Agents will ask our advice if they find the liability order has been issued against someone who cannot pay due to their vulnerability.

Take committal proceedings. You can be committed to prison if you refuse or neglect to pay your business rates. The Magistrates will examine how the debt arose and, if they consider you have refused or neglected to pay, they will impose a prison sentence. You have the right to seek legal assistance for this hearing and you may be entitled to Legal Aid. The Magistrates may suspend a prison sentence pending payments being made under an arrangement. This can lead to further court costs being awarded against you.

Limited Companies - Winding up Procedures

The Council can start proceedings to wind up the company.

Where can I get advice and help?

You can contact East Northamptonshire Council for advice.

Please read our leaflet for other sources of advice.

 

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