1) Do I have to file even though I don’t have any unclaimed funds to report?
a. Yes. If you don’t have any unclaimed funds to report, you are still required to file a Negative (NONE) Annual Unclaimed Funds Report. The negative report is required to verify that you have examined your account records and have no unclaimed funds to report. There are two types of entities that are not required to file – political subdivisions of the State, and hospitals that are tax exempt under IRS 501 (c)(3).
2) What are Unclaimed Funds?
a. Unclaimed funds are typically considered any funds not redeemed by a customer, client, or employee within a set time; accounts that have gone dormant.
b. Most accounts go dormant within 3 to 5 years, except for payroll checks, which become dormant after 1 year. To be considered unclaimed the funds must have been dormant for the specified amount of time, and the holder of the funds has been unable to locate the owner. (See a full list of Nature of Funds Codes – http://com.ohio.gov/documents/unfd_AnnualReportOfUnclaimedFunds.pdf)
c. Once the funds are turned over to the State, the State will maintain the funds until they are claimed by the rightful owner or their heirs. Safe deposit box contents, stocks, bonds, stamps, and other items that can be converted to cash can also be considered unclaimed funds. On occasion, the State will auction off such physical items and maintain the proceeds on file for the rightful owner. Personal items such as jewelry, photographs, letters, etc. are not accepted by the Division of Unclaimed Funds.
3) Are there types of unclaimed funds that don’t need to be reported?
a. There are three main categories of unclaimed funds that do not need to be reported.
i. Wages (Paychecks) $50.00 or less.
ii. Merchandise gift certificates and or unredeemed gift certificates
iii. Business to business transactions (As an exemption to the exemption, there are a few specific types of business to business transactions that DO need to be reported. Equity, dividend, and interest payments from business to business still need to be reported. Funds payable due to an insurance policy or membership deposit are also not exempt.)
4) What is the deadline to file the Annual Unclaimed Funds Report?
a. The annual deadline for most businesses is November 1st. The annual deadline to file for life insurance companies is May 1st.
5) Is there a penalty for not filing?
a. There are heavy penalties for not filing or under reporting unclaimed funds.
b. The civil penalty for failing to file your Annual Report of Unclaimed Funds can be as much as $200.00 per day. There are also criminal penalties of up to $500.00 a day for failing to report, or under reporting, unclaimed funds. An interest of 1% per month on the balance of the funds due can also be assessed.
6) Is there a minimum amount of unclaimed funds required to report?
a. There is no minimum amount to file the unclaimed funds report. Paychecks under $50.00 do not need to be reported. Any other accounts under $50.00 to need to be reported, however they can be combined and reported as an aggregate total. (More details see – http://com.ohio.gov/documents/unfd_AnnualReportOfUnclaimedFunds.pdf)
7) What do I do if I have unclaimed funds to report?
a. If the amount is $50.00 or more, you must send a letter to the account holder at their last known address, and wait at least 30 days for them to respond to collect their funds.
b. If the amount is over $1000.00, the notification letter is required to be sent via certified mail with return receipt requested.
c. You must keep a record of the account, including:
• Holders’ name and last known address
• Amount of the account
• Nature of the funds (see the instructions for a list of codes)
• Account holders’ social security number or EIN
• Relationship code of the account
d. If the notification letter is returned or you do not receive a response after 30 days, you will include the account in your annual unclaimed funds report and the value of the account will be transferred to the Division of Unclaimed Funds.
8) What does the Division of Unclaimed Funds do?
a. The Division of Unclaimed Funds holds unclaimed funds until the rightful owner of the funds, or their beneficiaries, claim them. There is no deadline to claim funds.
b. The Division maintains a searchable database for unclaimed funds, searchable at www.missingmoney.com