Unclaimed property compliance has gone viral, with several TikTok videos popping up in recent months – some of them with over 5 million views and counting. Many of these videos discuss the issue of unclaimed property and encourages viewers to search their state’s unclaimed property website to see if they are owed any money.
These videos and content creators’ popularity has sparked a renewed interest in unclaimed property, and many holders are now wondering what this means for them.
First, let’s review the basics and then, let’s dive into why this recent trend matters to businesses.
Who are Unclaimed Property Holders?
According to the Department of Revenue, Holders are any entity in possession of property that is subject to the state’s unclaimed property laws and belonging to another person. Holders who must report Unclaimed Property include corporations, financial institutions, government entities, insurance companies and transfer agents.
What is Unclaimed Property?
Unclaimed property is any property that has been abandoned by its owner. This can include things like bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and insurance policies. When property is abandoned or unclaimed and reaches dormancy, holders are required to escheat or report to the state.
States have a legal obligation to try to find the owners of unclaimed property. They do this by publishing lists of unclaimed property, and by conducting outreach campaigns.
Why do Holders have to report Unclaimed Property?
There are several reasons why businesses should report unclaimed property. First, it is the law! Second, failing to report unclaimed property can result in fines and penalties. Third, reporting unclaimed property can reduce the chances of being audited by states or third party auditors and fourth, it can help to improve a business’s reputation. For more information on why Holders are required to report unclaimed property to the state, or to schedule a free consultation with our team and discover more about how this impacts your business, please reach out to us.
Why does the topic of Unclaimed Property going viral matter to Holders?
The recent TikTok videos have helped to raise awareness of the issue of unclaimed property. This is a positive development, as it is important for people to know that they may be owed money. However, it is also important for holders to be aware of their reporting obligations. Bottom line: the more buzz that occurs around unclaimed property, the more states will pay attention to the businesses holding unclaimed property. Audits of businesses have risen over recent years, and this is expected to continue to grow.
If you are a business, do your research and be proactive! Start by visiting your corporate state’s unclaimed property websites to learn more about your reporting obligations, then explore some other states. You can also contact us for a free unclaimed property compliance consultation.