Difficulty paying business rates

If you are having difficulties paying your business rates, the important thing is to act now. If you can't pay as requested, please contact our business rates team as we might be able to help and offer advice.

If you don't pay your instalments

The billing and recovery of business rates is governed by Scottish Government legislation. If you don't pay when you’re asked to, and instalment and payment information is shown on your rates bill, recovery action will start:

  1. Overdue account notice
  2. Second overdue account notice
  3. Final notice
  4. Summary warrant

Stage 1: overdue account notice

If you have not paid your business rates as requested on the front of your bill we will send you an overdue account notice.

This letter will state that you must bring your account up to date within 7 days of the date of issue. If you fail to pay the amount due in full, you will lose the right to pay by instalments and the total outstanding balance on your account will become payable within a further 14-day period.

If the total outstanding balance is not paid within the set 14-day period, we will apply to the Sheriff Court to grant a summary warrant against you.

Stage 2: second overdue account notice

If you do pay as requested, following the issue of an overdue account notice, but fall behind again, we will issue you with a second notice. The same process will then apply as for the first overdue account notice.

Stage 3: final notice

If, following the issue of a second overdue account notice, you fall behind for a third time, you will no longer have the right to pay your account by instalments.

We will now send you a final notice stating you have 14 days to pay the full amount outstanding.

Stage 4: summary warrant

If you have not paid the amount requested on your final notice, nor made an acceptable payment arrangement with us, we will take legal proceedings for recovery of the total amount due. In such circumstances, we will apply to the Sheriff Court to grant a summary warrant against you.

When the Sheriff Court grants the summary warrant, a 10% penalty will be added to the outstanding balance for that financial year. At that time the debt will be passed directly to our Sheriff Officer to recover it and you will be contacted by them.

Allowing the debt to get to this stage could also result in additional charges being raised by the Sheriff Officers.

Failure to pay your rates, or to contact our business rates team to discuss payment, will result in the Sheriff Officers being instructed by the council to recover your arrears.

When a debt is passed to the Sheriff Officer, they can collect the debt in a number of different ways, for example:

  • Earnings arrestment
  • Bank arrestment
  • Payment arrangement