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11.6.3 Waiver of an overpayment

Note : refer to the Chief Executive Instructions, Chapter 7 “Debt Management”

Section 429 allows the MRCC to waive all or part of a debt due to the Commonwealth.  It is important to realise that a waiver decision is non-renounceable and 'forgives' the debt for all time at law.

A decision to waive an overpayment should not be made before careful consideration is given to the option of a write off. Where possible, it is preferable to retain the ability to recover the debt at a future time. For example, a person's financial circumstances may change significantly in the future. In view of this, the option of a waiver should generally only be used for relatively small overpayments, or in cases of financial hardship or other circumstances where it is clearly the appropriate course of action.

Under subsection 429(2), the date of effect of a waiver can be specified in the decision letter. Otherwise, it is taken to be the date of the decision letter.