Category: reporting

Unclaimed Property Reporting Deadlines Extended due to COVID-19

Like other business operations, many holders have found that the COVID-19 crisis has caused a disruption to the process of reporting and remitting of unclaimed property, particularly in those states with a Spring reporting deadline.  While holders should check the relevant state unclaimed property administration website for specific information (and to request an extension if necessary), many states have proactively responded to this disruption by either unilaterally extending the unclaimed property reporting deadline or granting a prospective wavier of late-reporting interest and penalties for a defined period.  Some of the highlights are as follows:

Arkansas – The May 1 annual reporting deadline for life insurance companies had been extended to June 1, 2020.

Illinois – According to the website of the Illinois State Treasurer, interest and penalties will be waived for up to 60 days after the end of the Illinois declaration of emergency.

Maryland – The April 30 annual reporting deadline for life insurance companies has been extended to July 31, 2020.

Massachusetts – The May 1 annual reporting deadline for life insurance companies has been extended to July 1, 2020.

New Jersey – The annual reporting deadline for life insurance companies has been automatically extended to June 30, 2020.

North Carolina – The annual reporting deadline for life insurance companies has been automatically extended to June 1, 2020.

Pennsylvania – The April 15, 2020 reporting deadline remains in place, but the Department of Treasury’s website provides that the Department will waive all fines, penalties, and interest for property that is reported and remitted to the Department by June 15, 2020.

Note that the foregoing are only the automatic extensions provided by the states. Extensions can also be applied for, on a case by case basis, by contacting the relevant state unclaimed property administrator.

Reminder: Texas and Michigan Reports Due July 1

Up until a few years ago, unclaimed property reporting was pretty well divided into two different “seasons.”  The “Fall” reports (in a majority of state), which were generally due on October 31 or November 1; and the “Spring” reports (in a minority of states, but including such notables as Delaware and New York), which were generally due in the March to May timeframe.*

In the past few years, possibly in response to a desire to increase revenue, a few states moved their unclaimed property reporting and remittance dates to July.  In particular, the reporting deadline in Michigan is now July 1 for property reaching its dormancy period as of March 31.  Likewise, in Texas, unclaimed property reports are likewise due on July 1.

Thus, make sure that you don’t forget about the “Summer” states as well.

* The dates above are the “general” reporting dates for most companies.  In many states, life insurers and other holders might have holder-specific deadlines.

"Spring State" Reporting Deadlines Approaching

With one exception (we’re looking at you, Mississippi) states require holders to report and deliver unclaimed property on an annual basis.   While the deadline in a majority of the states is in the fall (typically October 31 or November 1), there is a substantial minority of states where the reports are due in the Spring,* including FloridaIllinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Vermont.  Of course, there is no rest for the weary unclaimed property professional.  After getting out the spring reports in May, it will soon be time to get due diligence letters out for the fall reporting cycle. 

* Note that the reporting deadlines discussed above are for general corporations.  In many states, life insurers have their own reporting deadlines which tend to fall in May.

While We Were Out: Legislative Updates From Around the Country

It’s after Labor Day, the kids are back at school, and everyone is back at work preparing for fall reporting deadlines.  Here are a few legislative changes from late summer that took place while we were at the beach:

Michigan Amends Administrative Provisions — Earlier this year, Michigan passed a business-to-business exemption to remove certain amounts payable between business associations from the reporting and remittance requirements of that state’s unclaimed property act.  More recently, Michigan House Bill 5577 was passed, which amends the act’s record retention and limitation of action provisions to reflect the new exemption.  The new law reduces the period of time that a holder must keep records of property due and owing between business associations to 5 years (down from 10).

Changes to Hawaii Reporting — Hawaii was formerly one of the few states that had different dates for the reporting and remittance of unclaimed property.  No longer.  Pursuant to Act 229, both the reporting and remittance are due on November 1.

NJ Publishes Gift Card Reporting Guidelines

Pursuant to new legislation enacted earlier this summer (see prior coverage here and here), holders will have to begin reporting stored value cards, such as gift cards, to the State of New Jersey as unclaimed property.  In order to facilitate holders’ first-time reporting of this property, the New Jersey Department of Treasury has recently published guidelines for the reporting of stored value cards.

Under New Jersey law, unclaimed property reports are due on or before November 1.  The guidelines issued by the Treasury Department suggest (but do not require) that holders file two separate reports:  one for stored-value cards, and one for all other property.  Among other provisions, the guidelines also provide that:

  • Holders should not report gift cards in the aggregate (regardless of dollar amount).
  • “Pay cards” – stored value cards issued in place of wages – have a 1 year dormancy period.
  • there is a 5 year reach back period for stored value cards – all items with issue dates of July 1, 2003 are subject to the Act.  There is no reach-back period for pay cards – all items are subject to the Act.
  • Property type MS12 should be used for most stored value cards, property type MS01 for pay cards.
  • Ifthere is no owner address information, the holder should list the zip code of where the card was sold.