Business rate payments should be paid promptly on the dates specified in the notices issued to you by Mole Valley District Council (MVDC). If the business rate isn't collected on time, MVDC has difficulty in paying for the services it provides.
Each year a recovery timetable is agreed to ensure that all taxpayers are treated fairly and objectively. It is not possible to check each reminder before it is issued due to the number of accounts administered.
Reminders are issued if a payment has not been received within 12 days of it 'becoming due'. A maximum of two reminders will be issued in any one financial year. A second reminder will only be issued if you comply with the terms of payment contained in the first reminder and then fail to pay a further instalment by the due date.
If payment is still not received, a final notice will be issued confirming that you have lost the right to pay by instalments, and informing you of the balance due up to the end of the financial year.
At each stage of the recovery process you will be encouraged to contact MVDC if you are unable to make the required payments, as it may be possible to make a special arrangement to clear the account.
In some cases, although an arrangement will be agreed, MVDC will still obtain a Liability Order which will result in you incurring additional costs.
A summons will be issued if you have not made the instalment payments shown on your business rate account and you have not complied with the reminders which have been issued.
The amount to be paid is the total due as shown on the summons, including the £70 costs incurred when the summons is issued. If payment is made by cheque, it should be received by MVDC at least three working days before the date of the Court Hearing.
If payment is not received in full, a liability order will be applied for and you will then incur an additional £40 costs. All payments should be made payable to: 'Mole Valley District Council'.
If you cannot pay the full amount on the summons, you should contact the Revenues team to discuss the situation as further arrangements, including payment by direct debit, may be made to settle the debt. However, although an arrangement can be made, this is unlikely to prevent MVDC from applying for a Liability Order, plus the additional costs of £40.
If you wish to dispute either the liability for the tax or the amount of the summons, you should immediately contact MVDC. If the matter is not resolved you should attend the court hearing.
The following are examples of valid reasons why a liability order should not be granted:
- bankruptcy proceedings have been commenced
- more than six years have elapsed since the day on which the sum was first demanded
- the rate has been paid
- there is no valid entry in the Local Valuation List for the period of liability
- you did not occupy the property for which you have been rated
- you have vacated the property and the amount demanded relates to the period after your occupation of the property ceased
Please note that the summons is a legal document requiring you to attend a court hearing. You have the right to attend the hearing to give evidence as to why an order should not be made, however, you should note that the hearing can proceed in your absence.
If the Magistrates are satisfied that the sum shown on the summons has become payable by you and it has not been paid, then they will issue a liability order to MVDC.
A liability order is a legal instruction authorising MVDC to recover the outstanding sums by any of the following means:
MVDC could commence these proceedings against you in accordance with the Insolvency Act 1986.
MVDC may, if it is unable to clear the debt by way of distress, apply for a further summons to be issued for the defaulter to appear before the Magistrates for an enquiry into his or her means. Such action could result in a maximum prison sentence of three months.
MVDC employs Certificated Bailiffs to collect the debt and/or distrain on goods and chattels to be sold at auction to settle the whole or part of the debt. The instruction of Bailiffs will incur the defaulter with significant additional costs the amount of which is specified by Statute.
Please call 01306 879293 to contact the revenues team.