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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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The State of Online Reporting

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 23, 2019

Many of the transactions we complete on any given day occur online. Whether we’re banking, shopping or ordering pizza, online options have increasingly become the default method of getting things done. This is also true in the world of unclaimed property reporting, where more states are accepting and, in many cases, requiring holders to submit their reports online.

 

Currently, 29 U.S. jurisdictions require online reporting. In most cases, these states will not accept paper or non-online electronic formats (CD, DVD, USB, diskette, email): Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. 

 

Massachusetts, Minnesota and Washington require negative reports to be filed online, but accept CDs for positive filings. New Hampshire requires reports of 20 or more records to be filed online. Oklahoma requires online reporting for 15 or more properties but accepts either reports online or via CD for fewer than 15 properties. Puerto Rico’s online filing requirement applies only to holders in the insurance industry. Michigan and the District of Columbia still accept CDs but strongly recommend online filing and are in the process of moving to an online-only requirement. 

 

Almost all U.S. jurisdictions (43) have online reporting capabilities even if they still allow other methods. However, 11 jurisdictions do not currently accept online reports: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, New Mexico, North Carolina, Vermont and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

 

As recently as five years ago, only 10 jurisdictions required online reporting. It’s likely that all states will soon have online report acceptance capabilities and that more of them will accept online reports exclusively as this trend continues. 

 

For detailed information about reporting deadlines, dormancy periods, due diligence requirements, exemptions and deductions, electronic filing and much more, UPPO members can refer to the Jurisdiction Resource Guide

 

Tags:  electronic reporting  online reporting 

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Unclaimed Property Reporting and Remitting: Back to the Future?

Posted By Emily Lee, UPPO, Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, October 7, 2014

During the busiest reporting period of the year, long-time unclaimed property practitioners may be reflecting on the changes in format and delivery requirements over the past 30 years.  In the mid-1980s, state reports were submitted on paper via snail mail and the format, property type and owner codes were far from uniform among states.  In the early 1990s a few states collaborated to create the first set of NAUPA uniform property codes and the NAUPA reporting format. Even so, the majority of state unclaimed property departments continued to use their own formats and codes.  In the late 1990s and early 2000s, when states adopted sophisticated systems for processing report data, they began to adopt the NAUPA standard codes and format. 

 

During that time, report compilation for multiple states was on the path to becoming simpler.  In the early 2000s even the delivery mode requirements were becoming more uniform.  Most states passed laws or regulations requiring that if a report included greater than a particular number of owners/items (i.e., 50, 100, etc.) it must be filed on magnetic tape or diskette (and later on compact disk) and formatted using the NAUPA specifications.  While there were some unique state directives, reporting seemed more homogeneous. However, this “quasi-uniformity” in reporting is beginning to change. 

 

Mode of Report Submission

In 2013, Indiana (SB 222) enacted changes in the Indiana unclaimed property law which permitted it to require that reports and remittances be delivered electronically.  Shortly thereafter, Indiana changed its reporting submission requirements so that reports must be delivered by uploading them through their on-line portal. 

 

Texas followed suit. In December 2013 the Texas Comptroller adopted new administrative rules (Title 34 TAC 1:13.21) which required that all reports, beginning with those filed for the July 1, 2014 deadline, be submitted via their secure file transfer web portal. The Texas rules specify that uploaded reports cannot be encrypted.  Further, the new Texas rules go so far as to specify that, Reports that are encrypted, corrupted, or otherwise inaccessible will be rejected by the comptroller and returned to the holder for correction. The comptroller will keep a copy of any report that is returned for correction.”  Under the rules, a holder has 30 days from the notice of rejection of their report to resubmit a corrected report or be subjected to interest and penalties.

 

Like Texas, Oklahoma also now requires report submission via online upload. Adopted in September 2014, the amended administrative rules (OK ADC 735:80-3-8 and OK ADC 735:80-3-9) require that holders reporting 15 or more items to file their reports electronically using the state treasurer’s online reporting system.   Contrary to the new Texas rules, the Oklahoma rules require that all uploaded reports be encrypted.

 

Several other states now offer online upload as a mode of report delivery but do not yet mandate that reports be delivered in this manner.  A few examples are:  Alabama,  Florida,  Kansas, Montana,  New Jersey,  Nevada,  West Virginia, and  Utah.  It seems only a matter of time until states that have upload availability mandate its use due to the cost effectiveness and efficiency of this type of report in-take.

 

Mode of Remittance Submission

Similarly, technology has changed the method for cash remittances.   California was the first state to mandate electronic remittance.  In Section 1532 of the California Unclaimed Property Law, it specifies that, “Any payment of unclaimed cash in an amount of at least twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) shall be made by electronic funds transfer pursuant to regulations adopted by the Controller.”  Further, the California Administrative Code (Title 2, Subchapter 8, Article 1.5, Section 1155.200) states that, “Holders remitting $20,000 or more of unclaimed property in any form other than electronic funds transfer shall be assessed a 2% penalty of the amount of the payment.”

 

In 2013, Alabama began requiring that all remittances be delivered electronically.  Other states that require electronic remittance are as follows:

  • Idaho if the total remittance is $100,000 or greater (must make payment via ACH /wire transfer through secure holder account portal and need approval)
  • Massachusetts if the total remittance is $10,000 or greater (remittance by EFT required and must submit the “Authorization Agreement for Electronic Funds Transfer” annually to the MA Unclaimed Property Division for  approval)
  • New Jersey if the total remittance is $50,000 or greater (If a holder doesn’t use the eCheck payment tool a Fed Wire or an ACH Transfer is required. Holders are required to email details to upwire.nj@treas.nj.gov prior to the wire transfer to assure proper credit to their accounts.)
  • Nevada if the total remittance is $10,000 or greater (ACH or wire transfer)
  • Texas requires taxpayers and other entities that paid $100,000 or more in the previous state fiscal year in any one type of tax, fee or unclaimed property to make their payments using electronic funds transfer (ACH debit or Texnet – must enroll in Texnet)

As state unclaimed property divisions continue to embrace technology, reporting requirements will be modified to accommodate new report and remittance in-take methods.  While these changes occur, uniformity of reporting and remittance requirements will be eroded requiring greater diligence by the holder community. 

 

About the author

Karen Anderson, senior vice president, Unclaimed Property Recovery and Reporting LLC, and immediate past president, UPPO can be reached at kanderson@uprrinc.com or 317-577-9530.

 

More Resources

Q&A with Texas Comptroller on New Electronic Reporting Requirements

Check out the UPPO Jurisdiction Resource Guide

Tags:  compliance  electronic reporting  unclaimed property 

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