United States

Colorado adopts the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

TAX ALERT  | 

On April 16, 2019, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 88, enacting the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA), as written by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 2016, with several Colorado-specific revisions and amendments.

Senate Bill 88 aligns the majority of Colorado’s unclaimed property statutes with RUUPA’s provisions. Notable changes include: (1) the addition of a separate definition addressing virtual currency, (2) incorporating new  provisions regarding owner initiates activities, and (3) incorporating language to address the role and limitations of contract auditors.

In addition to the adoption of key RUUPA provisions, Colorado has reduced its dormancy periods for many property types from five years to three years, in line with the current trend adopted by many jurisdictions. Colorado has also eliminated the unclaimed property standard deduction for holders.

Dormancy periods reduced

Colorado generally maintained a standard dormancy period of five years for most property types (e.g., accounts payable checks, accounts receivable credit balances, etc.). With the enactment of RUUPA, Colorado has reduced the standard dormancy period to three years for most property types, unless otherwise enumerated in the statute. The dormancy period for payroll remains one year.

Colorado standard deduction eliminated

Prior to the enactment of the new legislation, Colorado permitted holders to voluntarily deduct from each non-aggregate item remitted, the lesser or greater of 2 percent or $25 of the value of the property remitted, depending on the property type.

This provision has been eliminated by the bill and holders must now remit the full value of property formerly eligible for the deduction.

Separate definition addressing virtual currency

The bill also adopts the definitional section of RUPPA, which includes definitions for virtual currency and stored-value cards. Both virtual currency and stored-value cards are specifically enumerated as escheatable property types. These separately recognized definitions demonstrates the shift by RUUPA to modernize its definitions to address unclaimed property as it today’s marketplace.

Indications of owner’s interest in the property

Senate Bill 88 clarifies the type of owner initiated activity that constitutes an interest in property as set forth in RUUPA. Colorado states that any action by the apparent owner that reasonably demonstrates awareness that the property exists to the holder constitutes an indication of the owner’s interest in the property. Colorado enumerates specific actions which would constitute owner initiated activity.  Examples include, but are not limited to, written or oral communication to the holder concerning the property, presentment of a check, accessing the account or information concerning the account, or making a deposit or withdrawal from an account at a financial organization, including automatic deposit or withdrawal. Ultimately, each of these actions will reset the dormancy period on the property at issue.

Takeaways

In addition to Colorado adopting RUPPA and the majority of its provisions, holders should keep in mind when reporting unclaimed property this fall that Colorado’s standard deduction has been eliminated and dormancy periods have been reduced by two years for most property types.

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