BACS and CHAPS
While many public sector rates are paid using the BACS facility, there is an alternative system namely Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS) which is available when funds are being transferred from the ratepayer's bank to the LPS Danske bank account.
This service has been used recently by public sector organisations and was found to be extremely efficient. Where a payment is made via CHAPS or BACS a remittance advice should be forwarded separately to assist with the allocation of the payment to the appropriate occupancies.
Government Procurement Credit cards
Payment by Government Procurement Credit Cards cannot be accepted.
The costs that LPS incurs when such cards are used to pay rates is between 1.55 percent and 1.85 percent depending on the type of credit card. The use of these cards would cost the public purse the difference between the charge LPS incurs and the rebate granted, which could be quite significant.
Deadlines for rates payments
Public sector ratepayers are requested to pay outstanding rates in full within 30 days of receipt of a bill or earlier if possible in line with good business practice.
Organisations who have in the past paid in instalments should contact Land & Property Services (LPS) before determining an instalment plan. Given the pressures of 'faster closing of accounts' it is no longer possible for instalment payments to be submitted in the last quarter of the financial year. The cut off date for instalments is 31 December each year.
Where payment is not received within 30 days of the date of the bill, LPS will write to the appropriate public sector organisation’s Senior Finance Officer requesting payment within 10 working days. Where payment remains outstanding after a further 10 days, LPS will write to the Chief Executive of the public sector organisation requesting payment immediately. Should payment remain outstanding at this stage the matter will be referred to Permanent Secretaries for consideration.
Changes to properties
In accordance with Rating legislation the onus is on public bodies to notify LPS of any changes which may affect the valuation of the property.
In year bills and separate bills for individual properties
LPS will work to reduce the number of in year and separate bills issued to public sector ratepayers as a result of valuation changes that increase the debt due.
Where a refund is due on a particular property, this will be issued in the form of a cheque. If a public sector ratepayer receives a cheque for a refund of rates and is unable to determine the property to which the refund relates, LPS will provide details of the refund on request from the relevant organisation. This information can be requested from the public bodies team using the contact information at the end of this note.
Any queries or issues for clarification should be raised with the team using the contact details below:
- Tel: 0300 200 7801 (charged at local rate) and ask for the public bodies team
- email: email@example.com