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Unclaimed Property Focus
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UNCLAIMED PROPERTY FOCUS is a blog written by and for UPPO members, featuring diverse perspectives and insights from unclaimed property practitioners across the U.S. and Canada. We welcome your submissions to Unclaimed Property Focus. Please contact Tim Dressen via tim@uppo.org with any questions about submitting a blog post for consideration and refer to our editorial guidelines when writing your blog post. Disclaimer: Information and/or comments to this blog is not intended as a substitute for legal advice on compliance or reporting requirements.

 

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Voluntary Disclosure Agreements (VDAs): Weighing the Pros and Cons

Posted By Administration, Sunday, January 13, 2013

Voluntary disclosure agreements, or VDAs, are commonly used to pro-actively and voluntarily report unclaimed property assets to state regulatory authorities. All states encourage holders of unclaimed property to file their unclaimed property reports voluntarily, as it allows states to generate revenue that it may not have had if a holder hadn’t come forward to disclose its liabilities.

VDA programs can be either informal or formal, depending on the state. States also understand that not every holder is knowledgeable in the area of unclaimed property, so state administrators are often willing to work with a business once it has become aware of its unclaimed property reporting obligations.

What are some of the benefits of entering into a voluntary disclosure agreement? Here are just a few:

  • The ability to control the review
    • Determine property types
    • Manage the property
    • Review procedures to assure they are adequate to comply with the unclaimed property requirements
  • The look-back period is usually shorter and/or limited than that of an audit
  • Usually provides for an abatement/reduction of interest and penalties
  • Establishes a rapport with the state administrator
  • Provides indemnification against claims filed once the property is accepted by the state(s)
  • Allows for additional time to submit reports

What are the possible drawbacks to VDA programs?

  • Must complete the due diligence and reporting within the timeline afforded by the VDA
  • Must maintain unclaimed property compliance moving forward after completing a VDA

Most VDA programs are available to holders unless one of the following applies:

  • The holder is currently undergoing an unclaimed property audit
  • The holder has been contacted by a state or a third party auditor retained by a state
  • The holder has not previously reported or has omitted/under-reported property

UPPO recommends contacting the state(s) where your company is required to file to determine the specific details (please note you may inquire anonymously, if you prefer).

 

Resource links


This information is not intended as a substitute for legal advice on compliance or reporting requirements.

Tags:  Education  Members  UP101 

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Unclaimed Property Focus: A Trusted Source of News & Information

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 4, 2013

As the premier resource for unclaimed property information, education, networking and advocacy for the private sector, UPPO is pleased to launch Unclaimed Property Focus, a place to discuss and share the latest news and trends that matter most to unclaimed property professionals.

Our unclaimed property experts will offer regular commentary and insight about easing the burden of reporting, eliminating confusion, simplifying compliance issues, and ethically returning property to rightful owners.

Unclaimed Property Focus is also a place for our members to share best practices from their own industries, reflect on their experiences at UPPO events and provide legislative policy updates from their states.

Upcoming topics will include:

  • Voluntary Disclosure Agreements: Weighing the Pros and Cons
  • A Brief History of Escheatment Law
  • Regulatory UP-date, a recurring feature with legal/government news
  • Third-Party Due Diligence Services for Unclaimed Property Holders

We welcome submissions from UPPO members that highlight topics of interest to unclaimed property holders and service providers. Posts should be 300-500 words in length – images, video clips and/or external website links are encouraged (please ensure you have usage rights and/or give proper credit to sources for photos and videos).

E-mail blog@uppo.org to suggest a topic, submit a blog post or receive more information about our editorial guidelines and deadlines. UPPO can also help you draft a post in your own words, inspired by your unique perspective on unclaimed property issues.

We’re looking forward to sharing your contributions with the rest of the UPPO community!

Tags:  Education  Members  News 

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