Delaware continues to focus on unclaimed property compliance, with its’ Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) program at the forefront of this push. Since the latter part of 2018, Delaware’s Secretary of State has been consistently mailing VDA invitations and continues this practice on an on-going basis.
Based on correspondence that MarketSphere received on September 24, 2019 from the office of Delaware’s Secretary of State, the latest round of VDA invitations have recently been mailed to a number of Delaware incorporated companies. Targeted companies now include middle market companies with annual revenues of $50M and above. Click here to see a sample correspondence from September 2019.
The correspondence notes:
Pursuant to 12 Del. C. §1173(b), the Delaware Secretary of State (SOS) recently sent out letters inviting companies to enter the Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) Program. Any company that receives a letter is encouraged to enroll in the SOS VDA Program to facilitate compliance with Delaware’s Abandoned or Unclaimed Property Law.
Invitees have 60 days from the date of the invitation to enroll in the SOS VDA Program by completing, executing and submitting Form VDA-1 Disclosure and Notice of Intent to Voluntarily Comply to the Secretary of State. If an invitee does not enroll in the SOS VDA Program within 60 days of the invitation mailing, the company will be referred to the State Escheator for examination.
As the correspondence notes, recipient companies must respond to these notices within 60 days or they will be referred to the Delaware Department of Finance, which would then have the option to commence an unclaimed property audit.
In general, notifications from Delaware are addressed to senior corporate executives. With respect to the VDA invitation, they often do not reach the person or group responsible for unclaimed property compliance in time to meet the 60-day deadline and prevent an audit. Our recommendation for companies incorporated in Delaware, or companies with significant operations in Delaware, is for the person responsible for unclaimed property compliance to make immediate inquiries to determine if any unclaimed property letter has been received from either the Delaware Secretary of State or the Delaware Department of Finance.
Any corporation that receives a notice letter from Delaware may want to consider contacting an unclaimed property advisor who has the experience to assist holders understanding what options could be available and determine the course of action that may need to be taken.
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