Decision details

Irrecoverable Debts in Excess of £10,000* - JUN23/CAB/9

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To authorise the write-off of irrecoverable debts in excess of £10,000 shown as outstanding in respect of Non-Domestic (Business) Rates, Council Tax, Accounts Receivable (sundry debt) accounts and Housing Benefit overpayments.


Cabinet considered the report and RESOLVED to:


1.     Authorise the write-off of the irrecoverable debt shown as outstanding in respect of Non-Domestic (Business) Rates, Council Tax, Housing Benefit Overpayments and Accounts Receivable (sundry debt) accounts included in the Appendices to this report (which detail the financial year and the category for the write-off request). 

Reasons for the decision:

The authorisation for write-off is requested due to one of the following scenarios: 


·        the individual/ company being made insolvent/ bankrupt; 

·        recovery action attempted but no longer enforceable under the Limitation Act 1980 (Statute Barred); 

·        the ratepayer is deceased with no further income due from the estate; and 

·        the result of legal processes/ negotiations/ disputes concluding 


Where debt being written off is in relation to companies that have gone into administration/ individuals being made bankrupt, proof of debt has been lodged with the Administrators or Liquidators in all appropriate cases and either it has been confirmed that no dividend is payable, or a final dividend payment has been received. Recovery action has therefore been exhausted and there is no further action that can be taken to obtain any further payments in relation to the debt. Table 2 in Appendix 1 summarises the rationale for the different reasons for write-off decisions by year and by value. 


Alternative options considered:

The alternative option is to not write off this debt. This would result in irrecoverable debts continuing to be shown as outstanding, with a bad debt provision apportioned to these balances. It should be noted that once a debt is no longer collectable it should be written off in the Council’s accounts and the debt provision adjusted accordingly. 


All other alternative options available to the Council to collect the debt have already been undertaken before making a decision to recommend a debt for write-off. 


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Background Documents:


Publication date: 19/06/2023

Date of decision: 19/06/2023

Decided at meeting: 19/06/2023 - Cabinet

Effective from: 24/06/2023

Accompanying Documents: