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Business rates

Problems paying

If you are experiencing financial difficulties and cannot afford to pay your business rates, you should contact us immediately, so that we can check to make sure you receive the discounts and reliefs to which you may be entitled.

If you do not contact us, and continue to default on your payments, action will be taken to recover any money outstanding. This will involve the issue of a Magistrates' Court summons, and could result in enforcement officer action, insolvency or even committal to prison.

The Magistrates' Court summons

If you receive a summons, you should pay the full balance shown on the summons immediately. If you cannot pay the full balance, fill in the arrangement slip and the direct debit details on the summons and send the summons back to us. If we accept the arrangement and you keep to the payments the council will take no further recovery action. Return your completed form to the Business Rates Service, New Town House, Buttermarket Street, Warrington, WA1 2NH.

If you do not pay the full amount, or you fail to keep to the arrangement agreed, the council will apply to the court for a liability order against the account. This grants the council further powers to collect any amounts outstanding. The account will then be issued to an enforcement officer, who will collect the money on our behalf.

If you receive a letter warning of enforcement officer action, you should pay the full balance immediately. If you cannot pay the full balance, you should contact us, as there will still be time to make a payment arrangement. If you do not contact us, the account will be issued to the enforcement officer and will be subject to any additional costs that arise from the an enforcement officer actions.

Enforcement officer action

Once your account has been issued to the enforcement officer , you should make any payments directly to them. They may also be willing to make a short-term payment arrangement with you. If you still do not make payment, or default on an arrangement made with the enforcement officer , the council can authorise the enforcement officer to remove goods from your property. The goods will then be sold to cover the balance outstanding and the enforcement officer costs.

If the enforcement officer is unable to collect the amount due, the council will begin insolvency proceedings, to wind up your company or put you into bankruptcy. As a last resort, the council retains the right to commence committal proceedings, which could result in a term in prison.