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MORE "and" LESS Unclaimed Property: North Carolina's Grab for More Information and Delaware's Shrinking Look Back Period

North Carolina

North Carolina H.B. 692 contains several important, and somewhat disconcerting, changes for unclaimed property

December 1, 2011

North Carolina

North Carolina H.B. 692 contains several important, and somewhat disconcerting, changes for unclaimed property holders. The bill provides that for amounts due to the apparent owners of intangible property valued at $50,000 or more, holders must report the following information with respect to the owner: “full name, last known address, SSN or TIN, date of birth, driver’s license or state identification number, email address…a description of the property, the identification number, if any, and the property amount.” If amounts are held or owing under an annuity or life or endowment insurance policy, a holder must report “the full name and last known address, SSN or TIN, date of birth, driver’s license or state identification number, and email address of the annuitant or insured and of the beneficiary.” The Bill further provides that the dormancy period for “wages or other compensation for personal services” is reduced from two years to one year

Delaware

At the end of the 2011 Delaware legislative session, H.B. 229 was introduced. If enacted, the bill will make significant revisions to the Delaware Unclaimed Property Law. First, the “look back” period for a state-initiated audit could not extend to “any calendar year prior to 1995.” This bill will trim 14 years off of an unclaimed property look back period (which is currently 1981).

Second, with respect to any holder who enters into a Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) with the state, the state would be precluded from conducting an audit or examination of records, or from “seeking payment of any amounts of property,” for any calendar year prior to 2001. This provision shortens Delaware’s VDA “look back” authority by 10 years.

Third, the legislation requires the state to be timely in any request for payment from a holder. Currently, there is a six-year limitations period in which the state may request payment after receipt of any report. H.B. 229 would limit the period to three years. However, the bill also provides that “if no report is filed or if a holder has filed a fraudulent report,” the state may make a “request for Payment” to the holder at any time.

The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee for review, which will begin when the legislature is back in session in January.

 

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