PA Treasurer McCord: As Statutory Unclaimed Property Reporting Deadline Nears, Treasury Records Highest March Collections in Last Seven Years

Treasury extends deadline to April 16 to account for weekend; Holder resources and information available online at www.patreasury.gov

Harrisburg, PA – April 11, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Treasury last month collected nearly $25.4 million, more unclaimed property than it had in any March in the past seven years, State Treasurer Rob McCord noted today as he announced Treasury will accept reports from entities subject to the state’s unclaimed property law through Monday, April 16 because the statutory deadline of April 15 falls on a Sunday this year.

“All unclaimed property ‘holders’ have a real, legal obligation under Pennsylvania’s Disposition of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Act to report unclaimed property annually to Treasury. This year, because the deadline falls on a Sunday, we have extended it to April 16 so holders have more time to report property they have that belongs to others,” Treasurer McCord said.

“When Treasury collects the dormant, abandoned property that is sitting on a company’s balance sheet, we set into motion a chain of positive benefits for Pennsylvania,” Treasurer McCord explained. “We either put the property back into the hands of the rightful owners or we generate positive cash flow for the state’s coffers, which reduces the cost of government for all of us while supporting vital programs and services. It’s an example of how a good-government program should work for its people.”

Treasury’s unclaimed property collections of nearly $25.4 million last month represent the most of any March since 2005 and reflect the department’s efforts to increase awareness of and compliance with Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property law. As further evidence, in 2011, Treasury collected over $200 million in unclaimed property in one year for the first time since 2007. The McCord Treasury has collected more than $610 million in unclaimed property since January 2009.

Increased collections means Treasury can return more unclaimed property to the rightful owners and generate more tax-free, debt-free revenue for the General Fund, Treasurer McCord said. Since January 2009, the McCord Treasury has returned more than $330 million in unclaimed property to rightful owners or heirs and generated around $300 million for the General Fund from property that cannot be returned.

According to Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property law, any holder that does not file a report by April 15 may be subject to interest and penalties. First-time filers are required to report unclaimed property for the current dormancy period and all unclaimed property from prior reporting years. Writing off unclaimed property as income does not relieve this liability, he added.

Generally speaking, unclaimed property is any financial asset that has been left with a business or government agency without activity or contact for at least one year. Reportable assets include bank accounts, uncashed payroll checks, accounts payable or receivable checks, credit balances, expired gift cards, escrow accounts, money orders, utility refunds, insurance proceeds, stocks and bonds and tangible items including those from police departments, hospitals, nursing homes, universities and safe deposit boxes. Visit www.patreasury.gov for a “dormancy matrix” that lists the holding periods for various property types, as well as examples of types of property reported by industry.

Treasury offers webinars to help guide holders through the details of Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property law. Thousands of employers have participated in these webinars to date. These presentations are available for view at a holder’s convenience at www.patreasury.gov under the “Unclaimed Property” tab. There, holders will also find other reporting resources such as FAQs, detailed reporting instructions, a link to free electronic reporting software (required for reporting more than 10 accounts), a copy of the Disposition of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Act, and information for companies voluntarily coming into compliance for the first time.

Holders with questions or in need of assistance can reach Treasury’s Compliance Team at 1-800-379-3999 or .

Media contact: Elizabeth Foose, 717-787-2991 or

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Editor’s note: Many local governments, police departments, school districts and authorities are required to report tangible and financial unclaimed property. Examples include uncashed tax refunds, uncashed payroll checks, unredeemed bonds and interest, and excess proceeds from sheriff sales. To help localize your stories, you may wish to request copies or information regarding local reports that have been filed or will be filed.



 


 

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