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Publican ordered to pay more than £100,000 after he 'avoided paying business rates'

By Georgina Townshend , 11-Aug-2017
Last updated on 11-Aug-2017 at 17:25 GMT2017-08-11T17:25:36Z

Fined: Publican is ordered to pay more than £100,000 after 'avoiding business rates'. Image: Basildon Magistrates Court (Google maps)
Fined: Publican is ordered to pay more than £100,000 after 'avoiding business rates'. Image: Basildon Magistrates Court (Google maps)

A publican was ordered to pay more than £95,000 in unpaid businesses rates and £16,000 in legal costs to Basildon Council last week.

The order was made at Basildon Magistrates Court on Monday 7 August 2017.

According to the council, Shaun O’Donoghue, the owner of the now closed-down pub the Belvedere, in Hardings Elms Road, Billericay, was claiming for the period the council were charging him business rates that the property was occupied by several different third-party companies, which he had leases with.

The business rates department at Basildon Council said it made numerous enquiries and visits to the property before sending bills to O'Donoghue.

Large loss of money

The council said O’Donoghue argued he had lease agreements with companies and that they should be liable to pay the business rates.

"As each of these companies had since gone into liquidation, the balance due to the council would have to be written off, meaning a large loss of money to the authority," a spokesman for the council added. 
"The magistrate agreed with the council that the lease agreements had been created to avoid paying business rates. O’Donoghue was ordered to pay the full amount due, which includes costs."
A liability order was also granted by the magistrates, increasing the avenues by which Basildon Council can recover the monies due. 

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