It’s time once again for Indiana businesses to begin the process of reporting and relinquishing unclaimed property to the Indiana Attorney General’s Unclaimed Property Division.
The deadline is November 1; however, due diligence to contact the owners of unclaimed property must be performed no more than 120 days or no less than 60 days prior to the filing of the report. That means in order to meet the November 1 reporting deadline, required entities must mail due diligence letters between July 4 and September 1.
Unclaimed property consists of any financial asset with no activity by its owner for an extended period of time and includes things like wages or commissions; savings and checking accounts; stock dividends; insurance proceeds; underlying shares; customer deposits or overpayments; certificates of deposit; credit balances; refunds; money orders; and safe deposit box contents.
Under a law passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 1967 and revised in 1995, personal property and money that has gone unclaimed for some time must be turned over to the Attorney General’s Unclaimed Property Division. Under state law, unclaimed property must be returned to the state after it has been left with a “holder” such as a bank, insurance company, or other business or organization, and there has been no owner-generated activity in the account for three years (one year for payroll checks), and the company’s attempts to contact the owner have been unsuccessful.
While the state expects to receive property for the benefit of lost owners, the Attorney General does not want to receive the property of an owner who has an ongoing relationship with the holder or whose last known address in the holder’s records is actually his current address. For this reason, Indiana’s Unclaimed Property Act requires that due diligence consisting of mail notifications sent to property owners by first class mail or better at their last known address be performed on all unclaimed property of $50 or more.
The penalties for failing to report unclaimed property in Indiana are $100 per day, up to $5,000. A holder who intentionally fails to pay or deliver property is subject to an additional civil penalty of 10 percent of the value of the property that must be paid or delivered. A holder that willfully refuses to pay after written notice commits a Class B misdemeanor.
“Negative” or “Zero” annual reports reflecting no unclaimed property held by the holder or business enterprise are not statutorily required. However, the Attorney General strongly encourages submission of such reports as a best governance practice and a demonstration of awareness of the legal requirements of the unclaimed property act.
First time reporters are encouraged to contact the Indiana Attorney General’s office with your company name and federal employer identification number to receive specific instructions.
For more information, review the Indiana Unclaimed Property Act or visit the Indiana Attorney General’s Report Unclaimed Property webpage. For information about reporting unclaimed property in other states, begin with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) Reporting Resources website.
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