States can claim big dollars from unclaimed property

Billions of dollars lie unused on the books of U.S. businesses in the form of unredeemed gift certificates and gift cards, uncashed payroll checks, abandoned bank accounts, and in the contents of long-forgotten safe-deposit boxes. Across the nation, states are stepping up efforts to get this money—ostensibly to put it in the hands of the rightful owners. But much of this money will remain unclaimed and it can revert to the states, which are facing tight financial times. Some states are even turning to third-party auditors to ferret out the billions of dollars of unclaimed property. Many businesses don’t even know they have a problem in this area, which has typically been the realm of banks and financial institutions. A simple oversight or a misclassification on your general ledger could build up to a massive assessment by the state when compounded over the years.

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This story is from the CCH’s monthly Focus on Tax newsletter, which provides advise and guidance on federal and state tax issues for tax and accounting professionals.

Read this article from CCH’s Journal of Taxation of Financial Products.


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