Get help if you have problems paying
If you are having problems paying your business rates, don't ignore the problem - contact us immediately on 01744 675264.
If you have outstanding debts including business rates, free, independent advice is available from various organisations such as:
- Business Debtline - 0800 197 6026
- Money Advice Service - 0300 500 5000
- St Helens Citizens Advice - 0344 826 9694
Unless there are any changes to your account, only one bill will be issued for each property advising of the instalments due for the year.
If you miss one instalment, or are late making a payment, you will be sent a reminder notice giving you seven days to bring your payments up to date. If you do not make payment as required, your legal right to instalments will cease and further recovery action will be taken for the full outstanding balance.
If your account is brought up to date within the seven days, instalment payments can continue. If you miss a future payment, your legal right to instalments will cease immediately and a final notice will be sent requiring payment of the full outstanding balance. If you do not pay the full balance, further recovery action will be taken.
If payment is not made as required on the reminder or final notice, we can apply to the magistrates' court for a liability order to be granted in respect of the outstanding balance. Granting of a liability order gives us several powers in order to recover the debt. A summons will be issued to advise you of the court hearing and further costs will become due.
If you agree that the debt is due and payable, you do not have to attend the hearing and should contact the Business Rates section to arrange payment.
You have the right to appear at court if you feel that the rates are not due, but you should contact the Business Rates section to try to resolve any dispute before the court date.
A Liability Order gives us the power to recover the outstanding debt by the following methods:
Taking control of goods
We will use authorised enforcement agencies to 'take control' of goods in your possession. This could involve them removing your goods and selling them in order for the debt to be repaid. If enforcement agents are used, you will incur extra charges which are laid down in legislation and could be high.
Where the debt is owed by an individual or partnership, the Council may commence bankruptcy proceedings against the person who owes the debt. Extra charges will be involved.
Where the debtor is a company, liquidation proceedings can be undertaken in order to wind up the company. Extra charges will be incurred.
If the debtor is an individual and enforcement agent action has been unsuccessful, we can apply to the magistrates' court for a warrant to commit the debtor to prison for up to three months. Additional costs will be incurred.