Richmondshire District Council acts as the collection agent
for the government. All business rates collected by the Council are
paid into a Central Pool and then redistributed amongst local
authorities. It is because of this, that there are regulations laid
down for the effective collection of business rates.
Late or Non-Payment
If you fail to pay
your instalments by the due date given on your bill, recovery
action will commence. All ratepayers will be subject to the same
recovery procedures in accordance with the
Non Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists)
If you do not pay an instalment, we will send you a ‘further
notice”, which gives you 7 days to bring your account up to date.
If this notice is not paid, the Council will commence formal legal
Should you pay the overdue instalment, but miss a future
instalment, we will not send you another further notice, instead a
‘cancelation notice’ will be issued and the full balance of your
bill will be payable within 7 days. If this notice is not paid, the
Council will commence formal legal proceedings.
If you fail to discharge the
further/cancelation notice within the required 7 days, we will take
court action to enforce payment of the debt. At this point costs
start to become payable. The costs for the issue of a summons are
If you settle in full the amount, including costs, shown on the
summons before the court hearing, we will take no further action.
Please note that should you pay the outstanding charge but not the
summons costs, legal action will continue.
Before the hearing, we will be willing to discuss a mutually
acceptable payment arrangement but this will be on the
understanding that the Council continues with the legal action. We
will still attend the hearing to request the Magistrates grant a
‘Liability Order’, and thereby secure the debt (explained below).
An additional cost of £56 will be incurred, resulting in total
costs of £176 being added to your account.
Please note that the Magistrates will not discuss settlement of
your account. Therefore, unless you wish to defend against the
Council's application it will not be necessary for you to attend
If you do wish to attend Court, please arrive at least 15
minutes before the hearing time so that a member of the Local
Taxation Team can interview you.
At the court hearing, we must
satisfy the Magistrates that we have followed the correct
procedures i.e. by sending you a bill, a further/cancelation notice
and a summons to your property, or your last known address. We must
also confirm that you are liable for business rates and that the
debt is outstanding.
If the Magistrates are satisfied with the evidence we present
they will grant a Liability Order. A Liability Order is a decision
by the Court confirming that you are liable to pay business rates
and have not done so in accordance with the law. It gives us powers
to recover the outstanding debt using other methods. These are
explained in more detail below.
The Magistrates may not grant a Liability Order if you can
provide a valid defence, such as:
• you think we have not followed
regulations* when we asked you for payment
• you were not the responsible person for the time we have
• we have charged you more than we should
• the rates have been illegally amended
• we have not sent you notice of the outstanding amount within
a reasonable amount of time
• we have already started insolvency proceedings against
Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists)
It is not a valid defence if you:
• are unable to pay
• have applied for relief against the rates
• have appealed to the Valuation Office against your business
• are not receiving all Council services
The Liability Order
If a Liability Order is granted, we can immediately take action to
enforce payment of the outstanding amount. Even at this late stage,
unless instructions to take enforcement action have been issued,
you will still have the opportunity to propose a payment
A Liability Order provides the Council with the power to:
• commence bailiff action
• petition to the Court for a declaration of bankruptcy
• petition to the Court for a winding up order
• application for a charging order on the property
• request committal to prison
We can instruct bailiffs to remove and sell your
goods to the value of the outstanding business rates and costs
incurred. The bailiff will give you the opportunity to make a
satisfactory arrangement for payment before considering removing
your goods. If bailiffs are instructed, you may incur a significant
amount of bailiff costs relating to the visits made by the bailiff
(levy on goods, hire of van, auctioneer's fee, etc). You should be
aware that the bailiff costs are calculated as a percentage of the
We may decide to take insolvency action against you for non-payment
of your business rates if the debt is more than £750. If we take
bankruptcy action, you could lose your home and possessions to pay
for your business rates debt. We will send you a letter warning of
bankruptcy proceedings and give you a last chance to make a payment
arrangement before bankruptcy action starts.
Providing the debt is greater than £999.00 we can make an
application to the County Court to impose a security against the
value of your property, this will then be paid to the Council when
it is eventually sold.
This action is a last resort, if the bailiffs have been unable to
remove goods to pay for your debt, or if we think other recovery
options are inappropriate. We can ask the Magistrates’ Court to
send you a summons to attend a committal hearing. This means that
we will ask the Court to decide whether to send you to prison for
not paying your business rates.
For further infomation regarding business rates please contact
us on (01748) 829100, or alternatively you can e-mail us at
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