Why have I got a summons? I always pay my Business Rates

Non Domestic Rates or Business Rates are due to be paid on or before the statutory payment date of each month and if you pay late your account is in arrears. Government law allows you to pay by monthly instalments. It also allows Rother District Council to take action if you do not pay when the instalments are due. You will already have been sent reminders about unpaid instalments and a Final Notice, giving ample time to bring payments up to date, or raise any queries on your account.

Non-payment and late payment costs those who do pay more money.

I have received a Summons; I can pay the sum overdue will this stop further action?

At this stage, your right to pay by the instalments shown on your bill has been cancelled. The full sum, including costs, must be paid and receipted by the Council by the day before the court hearing date, to stop the application for a Liability Order. If you are paying through the bank, or by post you need to ensure that your payment has reached us by the date shown to stop further action. Sorry but we cannot allow for delays in the post.

I have received a summons but cannot pay the full sum before the hearing date but I can pay shortly afterwards

If you can pay the full sum within 7 days of the hearing date, the application for a Liability Order will still be made before the Court, costs will be incurred but no further action will be taken provided the payment is received. If the payment is not then received, the Liability Order will be invoked.

I have paid some money in the last few days that is not showing on this notice

The summons is still valid and costs incurred but you will have less to pay.

Why do I have to pay costs?

It costs the Council money to issue reminders, Final Notices and to make applications for Liability Orders from the Magistrates Court. The cost of the summons action, currently £80.00 in each case, must be passed onto you, not to other Taxpayers who pay their Non Domestic rates on time. Further costs of £20.00 will be incurred on the issue of a Liability Order.

I have received a Summons and my circumstances have changed

If the change will not affect the monetary value of the account, such as your name has changed, you should still pay the summons. Let us know so we can amend our records. If you have vacated the Unit then please make contact with Rother District Council to supply details.

What will happen at the Magistrates Court?

The Council representative will request the issue of a Liability Order. If the Magistrates are satisfied that the amount claimed by the Council remains unpaid, the Order will be granted. It must be noted that the Magistrates have no powers to consider arrangements for payment.

What powers do the Council have once a Liability Order has been granted?

If a summons has been issued and the Court grants a liability order for the debt, Rother District Council can enforce the collection of this balance in a number of different ways. Initially the tax payer has 7 days to clear the full balance including added costs. If you have received a liability order then please make contact with the Recovery department at the earliest opportunity on 01424 787000

If payment is not received then the Council has the options listed below.

Recovery OptionsDetails
Instalment PlanAn arrangement can be completed which re-instates an instalment plan. This will include Summons and Liability order costs. This is purely at the discretion of the Council and may not always be offered. If this arrangement is defaulted then further action will follow.
Enforcement Agent referralRother District Council has the power to instruct Enforcement Agents to collect the debt. If this action is taken then further fees will be incurred by the debtor. For more information on these fees, please see the Enforcement Agent Fee Structure

If you have received a visit by an Enforcement Agent, then please contact the them directly to discuss your account. Their website addresses are below:

Chandlers Ltd
Stanford and Green
Committal to PrisonWhere Enforcement Agents have been unable to secure payment and no other option is available the taxpayer will be summoned to appear at a Magistrates court hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to consider if the tax payer has shown neglect in paying or refused to pay their Non Domestic rates. The Magistrates will then consider the Council’s application for commitment to prison. The maximum term of imprisonment where culpable neglect of wilful refusal is found, is three months. The outstanding balance will be payable upon release from prison.
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