Indiana physician practices have just a few weeks to report and relinquish unclaimed property to meet the November 1, 2017, deadline.
Unclaimed property consists of any financial asset with no account activity by its owner for a specified period of time: one year for payroll checks and three years for most other holdings. 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 all fall under Indiana’s Unclaimed Property Act.
That law, passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 1967 and revised in 1995, requires all unclaimed personal property be turned over to the Indiana Attorney General’s Unclaimed Property Division. Consumers can query that database to reclaim any money owed to them. A 2013 amendment to the law now requires all unclaimed property reports to be submitted electronically via the IndianaUnclaimed website.
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 a current address. For this reason, Indiana’s Unclaimed Property Act requires due diligence be performed on all unclaimed property of $50 or more.
Due diligence includes sending notifications, which inform owners about the unclaimed property and how to retrieve it, by first class mail or better to the owner’s last known address no more than one hundred twenty days and no less than sixty days prior to the filing of the report. To comply with the November 1 deadline for reporting and relinquishing unclaimed property, businesses and organizations should have mailed due diligence letters by September 1.
First Time Reporters
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. An organization’s first filing with the state is called their “initial compliance” and should span all property types held by the organization and covered under the law. In subsequent years during their annual filing, organizations should report unclaimed property according to the “dormancy” period for each property type.
The attorney general encourages annual submission of unclaimed property reports, even in the case of a “Negative” or “Zero” annual report reflecting no unclaimed property held by the holder or business enterprise, though such zero reports are not statutorily required. According to the Unclaimed Refunds FAQ page, most corporate legal and accounting advisors deem negative reporting a best governance practice, demonstrating an entity’s awareness of the legal requirements of the unclaimed property act, prompting an annual review, and keeping the organization in good standing with the State.
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. While extensions may be granted, the deadline for making such a written request, which is no later than thirty days prior to the reporting deadline, has passed.
For more information, review the Indiana Unclaimed Property Act or visit the Indiana Attorney General’s Report Unclaimed Property Reporting FAQs 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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