Wrapping Up Your Unclaimed Property Compliance for 2012?
You made it through the November filings - Good for you!! However, the work’s not yet over. Below are 5 things that you should do to wrap up your 2012 compliance:
1. Document retention - “How long should you retain copies of your unclaimed property reports?” This is a question that comes up frequently, and at a minimum, reports should be retained for 10 years. We always recommend that reports should be part of your permanent records. Best to convert the reports to PDF and burn to a CD, to insure that you have copies of the reports should the states select your company for an audit.
2. Pay the pending claims - Remember all those responses to the due diligence letters? Now is the time to make the payment and send out checks to those owners that indicated their rights to the unclaimed property. Also, remember to retain the signed and returned letters, in addition to the proof of payment. The items are no longer unclaimed property once you’ve paid the rightful owners.
3. Update your unclaimed property database to indicate removals - Nothing is worse than paying out money twice (i.e. to the rightful owner and the state)! Updating your list or database to indicate that the funds were reported or returned to the rightful owners should minimize the risk of over reporting to the states.
4. Identify items due for reporting in 2013 - The cut-off date for items due in Spring 2013 is December 31, 2012, while the cut-off date for items due in Fall 2013 is June 30, 2013. The due dates will be here before you know it! We recommend getting a head start on your research and due diligence process so that you could reduce the unclaimed property due for reporting to the states.
5. Consider enhancements to your current compliance process - Preparing state unclaimed property reports could be burdensome depending on the volume of your data, number of reports and how many states you’re reporting to. This is a perfect time to assess the efficiency and cost of your current compliance process. A cost-benefit analysis should be performed to assist with your consideration of potential enhancements, which could range from maintaining the status quo to embarking on a major overhaul, which may include implementing technology solutions. For your technology solution, visit ... www.chessys.com