Have you been filing your Washington State Department of Revenue Detail Report for Unclaimed Property?  The remittance and reporting of unclaimed property is due to the Department of Revenue each year by November 1st.  Significant penalties may be assessed on businesses for failure to file, or for filing late annual reports. You must include in the annual report all property that has remained unclaimed for the proscribed abandonment period as of June 30th.

Unclaimed property includes money, and tangible or intangible property (e.g., accounts payable, uncashed checks, etc.) that is owed to an individual or a business. Property becomes unclaimed after a period in which there is no owner contact and a “good faith” effort has been made to locate the owner.

Unclaimed property is protected by law under the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act until it has been returned to its rightful owners or their heirs. In the State of Washington, businesses and other organizations must review financial records annually to determine if any funds, securities or other property has gone unclaimed for the required abandonment period. The abandonment period varies with each type of property and ranges from one to fifteen years.

Businesses must report unclaimed property to Washington if any of the following apply:

  • The owner’s last known address is in the state of Washington;
  • The owner’s address is unidentified and Washington is the state of corporate domicile; or
  • The owner’s property is not reportable to another state, and the property transaction took place in Washington.

Examples of unclaimed property include, but are not limited to:

  • Deposits at financial institutions
  • Uncashed checks
  • Wages
  • Accounts payable
  • Account credits
  • Utility deposits
  • Insurance proceeds
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Dividend payments
  • Safe deposit box contents
  • Medical insurance overpayments

Penalties of up to 30% on the value of unclaimed property may apply for failure to file, or late filings.

The Department of Revenue is becoming more aggressive with its enforcement efforts. Reach out to State and Local Tax Partner Rachel A. Le Mieux or State and Local Tax Senior Manager Sonjia Barker if you would like assistance in determining whether you have an unclaimed property filing responsibility or if you would like assistance in filing your unclaimed property annual report.

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Peterson Sullivan is a Seattle-based CPA and advisory firm known for the expertise we bring to publicly traded and closely held middle-market companies, nonprofit organizations, and high-net-worth individuals throughout the Pacific Northwest and around the world.
PS Wealth Advisors, LLC is a registered investment adviser in the state of Washington. The adviser may not transact business in states where it is not appropriately registered or exempt from registration. Individualized responses to persons that involve either the effecting of transactions in securities or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation will not be made without registration or exemption.