The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Waiving a debt relating to an offence


The recovery of debt (1.1.D.60) arising from an offence must be waived (1.1.W.10) if the debtor has received an extended custodial sentence because they are either unwilling or unable to repay the debt.

The proportion of the debt that arose in connection with the offence must be waived. This may be up to 100% of the debt amount.

Proof of sentencing

Under the FA(Admin)Act section 98, the court must have indicated that:

  • the custodial sentence is a longer sentence than usual, and
  • it was imposed because the debtor was unwilling or unable to repay the debt.

Proof that the sentence was imposed or lengthened because the debtor was unable or unwilling to repay the debt should be obtained from the judge's remarks upon sentencing, or from the sentence itself. It is important that the length of the sentence is not compared with other sentences for similar offences when making such a decision, as this is not sufficient to show the reasons the sentence was imposed.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 98 Waiver of debt relating to an offence

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