What happens if you don’t pay your Business Rates?

Non Domestic Rates law is complex and involves billing, collection and enforcement.  This is mostly governed by 'The Non Domestic Rating (Collection & Enforcement Regulations 1989).' These notes are only a brief summary of the key points and are not intended as a full guide. For further information, please contact the Non Domestic Rating Section on 01643 703704.

West Somerset Council sets down the following procedures to collect its Business Rates:

We must send you a bill showing the amount due and the instalments required.

If you fall into arrears, we must send you a Reminder. If you do not pay the arrears in full within seven days you will be sent a Final Notice (however this is not a legal requirement in the above Regulations). If you then do not pay your balance in full a summons will be issued without further notice.

If you fall into arrears but bring yourself up to date, and then fall into arrears again,  or do not pay your arrears in full after the Reminder, we will send you a Final Notice (again that is not a legal requirement). If you then do not pay your balance in full a summons will be issued without further notice.

If we send you a Final Notice, you have lost the right to pay by instalments and if you do not pay the full balance immediately or contact us we will send you a summons.

If we send you a summons, we will add costs of £61.00 to your bill and apply for a Liability Order at the court hearing. This may be done in your absence. Arrangements may be made but only on the basis that the recovery action continues, and the cost of the summons is included in the arrangement.

If you do not make an acceptable arrangement with us we may ask enforcement agents to collect the debt. As  soon as your case is sent to an enforcement agent you will be sent a Notice of Enforcement letter from them. This will detail the total amount outstanding  owed to the Council and include their £75.00 compliance fees. The actions of enforcement agents can now result in substantial upfront costs and if your actions or indeed lack of action results in the need for a visit then a further minimum of £235.00 will be added in fees.

The Council uses enforcement agents Ross & Roberts Ltd contact number 0870 167 0707. 

As a last resort if enforcement agents are unable to collect the debt we may take committal action to send you to prison or we may commence bankruptcy/insolvency proceedings.