Efficiency

Local councils intensify bailiff enforcement against unpaid business rates

Praseeda Nair | 9 January 2018 | 6 years ago

As company owners across England and Wales grapple with the growing property tax burden, new research has revealed a sudden spike in bailiff enforcement against unpaid business rates.

An investigation undertaken by ratings advisor Altus Group found that around 41, 000 business premises wereapproached bydebt collectors in the five monthsafter 1 April 2017 a nine per cent increase compared to the same period in 2016.

Following authorisation by a local authority, debtenforcement agentsare able to enter a commercial premises and seize goods to sell at public auction, with the proceeds taken by the council to settle unpaid business rates.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request raised in the investigation asked local councils to submit details on bailiff enforcement against local businesses, of which 247 authorities responded with data on 1.37m properties.

Between 1 April and 31 August 2017 the first five months of the latest business rates regime a total of 28, 355 commercial properties were referred for bailiff enforcement, according to the FOI request.

Read more about the challenges of business rates revaluation:

When considering the 1.98m properties liable for business rates, Altus Group predicted the total number of bailiff collections was likely to be 40, 965, a nine per cent rise in bailiff enforcementfrom£2016/17.

The London Boroughs of Hounslow and Lewisham resorted to bailiff enforcement most frequently in the five month period, with one in 11 business owners in both areas facing the prospect of having goods seized.

In 2017, rateable values in Hounslow rose by 25.09 per cent and by 31.83 per cent in Lewisham, demonstrating the challenges posed by business rates revaluation in both boroughs.

Commenting on the impact of revaluation since 2017, Alex Probyn, UK business rates president at Altus Group, said even those without increased bills had struggled to keep up payments.

the current, deeply unfair, system of transitional adjustment severely limits the amount by which bills can go down, meaning many businessesare paying disproportionately high billsin locations wherelocal economies are underperforming andvalues are falling, Probyn said.

it goes without saying that now is the time, more than ever, that businesses need to carefully understand their new rates assessment and to check that what they’re being told to pay is indeed accurate and correct.

Find out everything you need to know about the business rates appeal process

Topic

Efficiency

Related Topics

Embracing Sustainability: Eco-Friendly Practices for Businesses
1 September 2023

Embracing Sustainability: Eco-Friendly Practices for Businesses

Read More →
Maximising Productivity: Time Management Hacks for Entrepreneurs
16 August 2023

Maximising Productivity: Time Management Hacks for Entrepreneurs

Read More →
Transferring property from a sole trader to a limited company
19 May 2023

Transferring property from a sole trader to a limited company

Read More →
Zoom for business
5 July 2021

Zoom for business

Read More →
Efficiency and Productivity: Which is better? Are they different?
21 June 2021

Efficiency and Productivity: Which is better? Are they different?

Read More →
How to pay less tax as a sole trader with this simple advice
7 June 2021

How to pay less tax as a sole trader with this simple advice

Read More →

If you enjoy reading our articles,
why not sign up for our newsletter?

We commit to just delivering high-quality material that is specially crafted for our audience.

Join Our Newsletter