Decision details

Irrecoverable Debts in Excess of £10,000* - JAN23/CAB/80

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The purpose of this report was for Cabinet to approve the write-off of irrecoverable debt in excess of £10,000.



Cabinet considered the report and RESOLVED to:


1.    Authorise the write-off of the debt shown as outstanding in respect of Non-Domestic (Business) Rates, Council Tax, Accounts Receivable (sundry debt) accounts and Housing Benefit overpayments, 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 was made 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 was deceased with no further income due from the estate; and

·         the result of legal processes/ negotiations/ disputes concluding


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


Alternative options considered:

The alternative option was 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 was 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 had already been undertaken before making a decision to recommend a debt for write-off.


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Background Documents:


Publication date: 16/01/2023

Date of decision: 16/01/2023

Decided at meeting: 16/01/2023 - Cabinet

Effective from: 20/01/2023

Accompanying Documents: