The fall 2023 unclaimed property reporting cycle has arrived. That means it is time for businesses to ensure they have all their ducks in a row and are prepared to comply with all unclaimed property rules and regulations.
While this may be a daunting and, at times, time-consuming process, taking the time to prepare now will help businesses ensure any unclaimed property they are holding is reported correctly the first time.
The majority of U.S. states have a fall unclaimed property reporting deadline of either October 31st or November 1st. This means businesses have a little under a month to ensure they are ready to report any and all unclaimed property they are holding that qualifies this year.
Furthermore, in order to be in compliance with those dates, due diligence letters need to be sent out in advance as directed by the states they will be reporting property to. In many cases, states will advise due diligence letters be sent out anywhere from 60 to 120 days prior to their reporting deadlines. However, some states want them to be sent more than 120 days in advance, so it is important that businesses pay close attention to their state’s regulations to ensure they remain compliant with due diligence and reporting deadlines. Dunbar is here to assist businesses in ensuring they accurately meet the deadlines determined by the states in which they operate.
However, holders of unclaimed property can boost the likelihood that they will meet the due diligence and reporting deadlines by keeping an accurate timeline of events. This means knowing when they came into possession of the unclaimed property as well as when the dormancy trigger occurred. If they have a clear record of when these events occurred, they are more likely to send due diligence letters and report unclaimed property to the state at the appropriate time.
Furthermore, businesses that hold unclaimed property can do so by putting formal unclaimed property policies and procedures in place that will guarantee an accurate timeline of events is kept. These can also ensure that the entire company, including any subsidiaries, is following the same playbook when it comes to preparing and reporting unclaimed property as well. This system of checks and balances will ensure everyone is on the same page throughout this entire process and increase the odds of attaining compliance when reporting unclaimed property.
Next, businesses should verify they have accurate and up-to-date payment information for each state they plan to report any unclaimed property to. Unfortunately, this information can change from year to year, so holders of unclaimed property cannot just assume the payment information they used the previous year is still correct. Instead, they must take it upon themselves to verify this information each year to ensure the payment is sent to the correct place. If they do not do so and payment is not sent to the correct place, they risk being noncompliant or facing late fees, penalties, or interest if they do not correct their error before the reporting deadline.
Holders of unclaimed property who are planning to report it this fall should be aware that some states require them to register in advance through their websites or obtain a holder ID in order to do so. Furthermore, if holders do have to register or obtain an ID in order to report unclaimed property to certain states, they need to ensure they do so in advance of those states’ reporting deadlines. Some states can take anywhere from days to weeks to issue an ID to holders who requested either.
Lastly, as the fall unclaimed property reporting deadline quickly approaches, businesses need to make themselves aware of any recent changes to the unclaimed property law in the states where they plan to report unclaimed property. Nevada and New York, for example, just made changes to their unclaimed property that will influence the reporting process for this year.
Updating themselves on any recent changes to state unclaimed property laws is even more important for businesses to complete if they plan to do their own reporting. This means they do not plan to outsource the reporting process to a third-party provider, such as Dunbar. It is imperative businesses report unclaimed property correctly the first time to prevent any late fees, penalties, or interest from accruing on the property.
However, understanding minute changes to each state’s property law can be immensely time-consuming and downright confusing for holders of unclaimed property who do not specialize in the reporting process. That’s where Dunbar can come in and help. Our consultants spend countless hours reviewing and understanding changes to each state’s unclaimed property law to ensure our clients’ unclaimed property is reported right the first time.
Dunbar is a reputable provider of unclaimed property compliance services, offering a comprehensive suite of solutions to help organizations remain compliant with all applicable laws. With a professional team with decades of experience, Dunbar is the ideal choice for businesses seeking a reliable and knowledgeable provider for their unclaimed property compliance needs.