Unclaimed property refers to all the assets held by a company or financial institution, and if the given time elapses, a state considers these assets as abandoned. Each state has set its abandonment period. The common types of unclaimed property include account overpayments, dividends, life insurance payments and policies, royalty payments, tax, and other refunds, to mention but a few.
Procedure for filing an unclaimed property claim
If you want to file for Georgia unclaimed property, use this procedure:
- Head over to your state unclaimed property website or a site that offers such a service.
- Insert your last name or business name and search
- Confirm your identity and file a claim
- Submit critical documentation such as a notarized and signed claim form, a copy of your social security card and driving license, and your proof of address. These are the best ways for your company to comply with unclaimed property requirements.
Identify Your Audit Risk
Many states are contracting audit firms to work on their behalf. Therefore, your organization must look out for unclaimed property notices and audit letters. So, if your firm has received an invitation to take part in voluntary disclosure programs, your team should fully comply.
Establish an Unclaimed Property Unit
Your company can have a UP team consisting of the chief finance officer, the vice president of tax, the budget controller, and the internal legal counsel. This high-level team needs to involve itself with unclaimed property matters.
Also, the management can designate the tax team as the secondary responsibility bearers. There should also be an escheat coordinator who liaises with other vital departments such as accounts receivable and payable or risk management to help generate potential unclaimed properties.
Establish Policies and Procedures
An organization must have adequate procedures and policies. These must be clear and actionable rules that all staff follow. The company must have the process for reporting unclaimed property, have an escheat coordinator, identify potential UP areas, and set the amount that it considers negligible. These policies should work in conjunction with an organization’s accounting policies.
Come Up with a Compliance Calendar
A company has a tax filing deadline, and so should it have the UP calendar. By having this compliance calendar, the responsible staff will be aware of the reporting periods. The calendar must have all procedures, due dates, and the reporting areas.
Communication of Unclaimed Property Policies
A company must communicate the policies to the staff to encourage compliance with the requirements. Employees are likely to honor what they know. There can be a UP compliance meeting at the beginning of the year where the management and staff review the policies and discuss each department’s responsibilities.
Find Out and Apply for Deductions and Exemptions
Different states have varying exemptions and deductions. A company has to research and review the state’s specific deductions or exemptions and determine this requirement, which the management indicates in the policies. All these measures will help in avoiding mistakes that may result in fin penalty from the state.
You can file for your business to Georgia unclaimed property and return any unclaimed assets to the rightful owners. As a company, you can comply with unclaimed property requirements by identifying your audit risks, establishing an unclaimed property unit, establishing policies and procedures, and communicating the policies.