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June, 2014

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Title:Prison sentence for failing to pay business rates
ID & Publication:20140611025 ~ 
Subject:Community News 
 DMBC (4kb)

A Doncaster businessman has been given a prison sentence for failing to pay his business rates in accordance with what magistrates had ordered him to pay at a previous hearing. It follows a committal hearing brought by Doncaster Council.

Gurmeet Singh, aged 47, of Fairfield Close, Doncaster was given a 90 day prison sentence when he appeared before Doncaster Magistrates on 16 June 2014. Singh was on his way to jail when his wife paid his outstanding debt of £1927.57 and he was released from custody.

Singh had already been handed a 12 week suspended sentence in June 2013 when he had been ordered to make regular payments on owed business rates. In June 2013, Magistrates carried out a comprehensive review of Mr Singh’s finances and further suspended the prison sentence of 12 weeks. Despite the threat of losing his liberty, Singh did not make his debt a priority and only made partial payments from what the magistrates had ordered. During the review of his finances in 2013 it was established that he had taken out a loan to pay for a wedding, and he had purchased a second rental property.

Simon Wiles, Director of Finance and Corporate Services, said: ‘Before considering any court action we will try to come to an arrangement with customers who are struggling to pay their debts. We provide practical help and advice to anyone finding themselves in financial difficulties.

‘Unfortunately there are some people who don’t prioritise such debts even though they have the means. We have a legal duty to all those who do pay on time to make sure non payers don’t get away with it.

‘The Magistrates expressed the view that they were not confident repayment would be made and activated the suspended committal sentence previously imposed. The court assessed that he had the means to pay. This was reflected in the magistrates’ decision to sentence him for not paying business rates.’

For advice and information about business rates and council tax please visit or telephone 01302 734454.

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Author: 'DMBC'   Area: 'Doncaster'
Title: 'Prison sentence for failing to pay business rates'   Category 'Community News'
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