On June 18, 2020, the Delaware Office of Unclaimed Property mailed notices providing additional time for certain businesses to respond to the Delaware Secretary of State’s (SOS) Unclaimed Property Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDA) invitation. The notices extend the previous May 22, 2020 deadline to July 18, 2020.
On Feb. 20, 2020, the Delaware SOS’s office mailed over 100 letters to businesses identified as ‘likely being out of compliance’ with Delaware’s unclaimed property law. The letter served as an invitation to enroll in the SOS VDA program. Holders of unclaimed property who do not enroll in the program within 60 days of the mailing are issued an unclaimed property audit notice by the Delaware Department of Finance.
The original 60-day response deadline was May 22 2020. However, due to COVID-19, the Delaware Office of Unclaimed Property, Department of Finance, and the State Escheator recognized that many businesses continued to not have full access to their mail due to stay-at-home orders and remote working arrangements. On June 18, 2020, the Delaware Office of Unclaimed Property mailed notices to businesses who failed to respond to the original invitation extending the deadline to enter into the VDA program to July 18, 2020. Any letter recipient that does not enroll in the VDA program will be referred to the State Escheator for examination.
Delaware remains the largest enforcer of unclaimed property laws and regulations. It is very important that businesses understand the risks and the benefits of a VDA versus an audit within the revised response window.
This is not the first time that the Delaware SOS has issued such letters. These mailings serve as an important reminder for all businesses, especially those incorporated in Delaware, to evaluate their compliance with unclaimed property laws and regulations and proactively mitigate their unclaimed property exposure.
Businesses that receive the Delaware notice or have questions about unclaimed property and various state compliance obligations should speak to an unclaimed property specialist. For more information and insights on unclaimed property, please see RSM’s Unclaimed Property Portal.