Unclaimed Property? Obscure Law Could Expose Your Business to an Audit

Don’t miss these upcoming deadlines for filing unclaimed property reports.

Small-business compliance with unclaimed property laws, known as escheat laws, isn’t usually at the top of the list of most owners’ concerns. But failing to address unclaimed property can lead to audits, interest and penalties. When a customer leaves a deposit and never returns, or you issue a refund to clients via check that they never cash, you can’t just keep the money. Escheat laws require you to report that money and turn it over to the state for safekeeping until the rightful owner attempts to claim it.

The following states have upcoming unclaimed property report filing deadlines:

Delaware: March 1
New York: March 10
Connecticut: March 28
Pennsylvania: April 15
Florida: April 30
Vermont: May 1
Michigan: July 1
Texas: July 1

If your company has never filed unclaimed property reports, don’t just send in a report this spring. It’s best to consult with a credible unclaimed property consulting firm to ensure you don’t open your company up to an audit, which could lead to interest and penalties. After filing for the first time, future reports should be straightforward.

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Learn more about Mike Periu

Mike works with small businesses to teach them about finance and management. He started Proximo, LLC, a company that offers small business education and training services focused on finance and technology.

Periu also writes for OpenForum, Yahoo! Finanzas the Huffington Post contributor.

Mike went to Georgetown University where he studied Finance and International Business. He also serves on the Board of the Council for Economic Education and was a Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation.

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