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Business rates - privacy notice

As part of the assessment and collection of Business Rates and the payment of COVID-19 business grants, St Helens Borough Council will collect personal data about you and your business. 

What information do we hold?

  • Your contact details and other persons liable for Business Rates at a property.
  • Contact details for the owner of the property (if this is different).
  • Your Business Rates liability, discounts, other reductions and payments made for each financial year.
  • If you pay by direct debit or apply for a COVID-19 business grant, we will hold your bank account details.
  • If you apply for a discount, exception, relief or reduction, we will hold information concerning the reason and the name of the person(s)/business it applies to.
  • Your online portal registration details if you register for an online account or e-billing.

Who is processing my data?

All personal data we hold is treated as confidential and will be held securely in accordance with data protection legislation. It will only be used for the assessment and collection of Business Rates unless otherwise stated.

The Council has contracts with suppliers who may process your data on our behalf and are designated data processors. Contracts include: software suppliers; hybrid mail providers; scanning bureau; credit reference agencies; debt collection and enforcement agents.

Legal basis for processing your data

We are required to use your data to carrying out legal obligations or to comply with a statutory function.

The legal basis for processing your data is the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (as amended) and associated regulations including The Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement)(Local Lists) Regulations 1989 and Local Government Act 2003.

The Council has a duty to protect public funds and prevent and investigate all allegations of fraud and error.

How do we use the information we hold about you?

We collect information about you:

  • to correctly assess your liability for Business Rates, including entitlement to any discounts, exemptions, reliefs and reductions.
  • to recover any Business Rates due.
  • to pay COVID-19 business grants.
  • to allow the Council to communicate with you and to provide services appropriate to your needs including the take-up of relevant services.
  • to protect public funds, including the prevention and detection of fraud.

Who we will share your information with and why

We will only disclose information to other bodies where it is allowed by law. This includes:

  • Internal use - other services within St Helens Borough Council for the purpose of holding accurate records in respect of residency or where it is allowed for by law. Your representatives, including but not limited to appointees, Members of Parliament, Councillors, where you have provided consent.
  • Courts - for recovery purposes.
  • Enforcement agents and collections agents authorised to collect debt in accordance with agreed contracts.
  • Credit reference agencies - appointed to undertake debt tracing or verify discounts and exemptions.
  • Other local authorities, in respect of the administration and collection of local taxes.
  • Fraud prevention - including the National Fraud Initiative and National Anti-Fraud Network.
  • Other contractors - where we have a legal agreement for them to process your data on our behalf.
  • Tribunals and ombudsman - in response to appeals or complaints you have made.
  • Government departments
  • Police, law enforcement agencies and prosecuting authorities - for the prevention or investigation of crime.
  • Information is shared under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 - information about individuals/sole traders will be redacted when supplying information under the act.

Transfers out of EU

  • No data will be transferred or held outside the EU.

We will receive information from the following sources:

  • Other Business Ratepayers and landlords.
  • Other local authorities responsible for administration of local taxation.
  • Other organisations, including government departments, where we have a legal right to request information or to verify information you have provided including employers and credit reference agencies.

How long we retain your information for

  • Business Rates liability and collection information is retained for financial and audit purposes since April 2000. It is also required in the event that a Business Rates rateable value is retrospectively changed.
  • Applications forms and other information that you provide in respect of Business Rates liability will be retained for a maximum of six years.

Automated decision-making

  • Automated decision-making is where an electronic system uses personal information to make a decision without human intervention. This may occur in certain processes which meet defined criteria. Applications that fail to meet defined criteria will be reviewed manually.
  • If you are not satisfied with a decision, you have the right to ask for the decision to be reviewed. In certain circumstances, you may also be able to make an appeal to an independent tribunal.
  • Your data is not subject to automated profiling. For more information on your rights, please visit
  • These rights may be restricted, subject to St Helens Council undertaking its statutory obligations in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and other legislation.

Your rights

For more information on your rights, please visit

These rights may be restricted, subject to St Helens Borough Council undertaking its statutory obligations in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and other legislation.

Last updated 12 October 2020