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KeepUP™ Blog

8/23/22 8:32 AM

Delaware Actively Mailing Notices Requesting Verified Reports

We recently discussed in a previous blog post that DE SB 281, enacted and made effective on June 30, 2022, among other things, expands the state’s enforcement powers by allowing the State Escheator to request a verified report or compliance review from a holder for any reason. Prior law required the State Escheator to have “reason to believe” that the holder failed to file a report, or who the State Escheator believed had filed an inaccurate, incomplete, or false report.

Holders are presently receiving notices requesting verified reports for the prior report year, even if they did not have any unclaimed property to report for that year. Under Delaware law, a negative report, or “zero report” is not required.

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Topics: Delaware, Audit, Voluntary Disclosure Agreements

7/19/22 9:02 AM

Reminder: Delaware VDA Invitations Scheduled to Mail July 22, 2022

The Delaware Secretary of State (SOS) has indicated its intent to mail the latest round of VDA invitations on or around July 22, 2022.  Under Delaware law, the state cannot initiate an unclaimed property examination (audit) unless a company has first been notified in writing by the SOS that it may enter the SOS VDA Program. Holders who do not enroll in the VDA Program within the 90-day notice period set forth in the letter will be referred to the Department of Finance for an unclaimed property audit.

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Topics: Delaware, Voluntary Disclosure Agreements

7/6/22 9:24 AM

DE SB 281, Enacted and Effective June 30, 2022: What Holders Need To Know

Enacted and made effective on June 30, 2022, Delaware SB 281 makes significant changes to Delaware’s unclaimed property law. Holders currently under audit or who are participating in a voluntary disclosure program (VDA) with Delaware’s Secretary of State (DE SOS), as well as holders in litigation should take note that many of these new provisions apply retroactively.

Below is a summary of the key provisions:

Enforcement: Verified Reports and Compliance Reviews

• While the Department of Finance is required to notify a holder of the opportunity to participate in the Secretary of State’s VDA program before it can initiate an audit, the new law allows the state to initiate an audit if a holder has not responded to or completed a verified report or compliance review, without requiring such notice.

• The state can request a verified report or initiate a compliance review for any reason, whereas prior to the new law, the state needed reason to believe that the holder had previously filed an inaccurate, incomplete, or false report.

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Topics: Delaware, Compliance, Reporting, Voluntary Disclosure Agreements, U.P. Law

6/30/22 12:29 PM

Update: Delaware VDA Invitations To Mail On Or About July 22, 2022

The Delaware Secretary of State (SOS) has indicated its intent to mail the latest round of VDA invitations on or about July 22, 2022.  Under Delaware law, the state cannot initiate an unclaimed property examination (audit) unless a company has first been notified in writing by the SOS that it may enter the SOS VDA Program. Holders who do not enroll in the VDA Program within the 90-day notice period set forth in the letter will be referred to the Department of Finance for an unclaimed property audit.

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Topics: Delaware

2/8/22 9:33 AM

Unclaimed Property Outreach from Delaware & the District of Columbia

The next scheduled rounds of invitations to enroll in the Delaware Secretary of State’s (SOS) voluntary disclosure program are expected to be sent on February 18, 2022, and then again on May 20, 2022.

 Under Delaware law, the SOS must first notify the holder in writing that it may enter the VDA program prior to initiating an unclaimed property examination (audit). Holders who do not enroll within the 90-day notice period will be referred to the Department of Finance for audit.

If your company is incorporated in Delaware or has significant operations in Delaware, be on the lookout for these letters, or any letters from either the Secretary of State or the Department of Finance.

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Topics: Delaware, Compliance, Best Practices, Voluntary Disclosure Agreements

1/24/22 8:12 AM

UPDATE: Delaware VDA Invitations Scheduled for February 18, 2022

The Delaware Secretary of State (SOS)  indicated its intent to mail the latest round of VDA invitations on or about February, 18, 2022. 

Under Delaware law, the state cannot initiate an unclaimed property examination (audit) unless a company has first been notified in writing by the SOS that it may enter into the SOS VDA Program. Holders who do not enroll in the VDA Program within the 90-day notice period set forth in the letter will be referred to the Department of Finance for an unclaimed property audit.

As VDA invitations may be addressed to senior corporate executives, they often do not reach the person or group responsible for unclaimed property compliance in time to meet the 90-day deadline to prevent an audit.

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Topics: Delaware, Audit, Best Practices, Voluntary Disclosure Agreements

7/30/21 9:36 AM

Unclaimed Property Enforcement Update: Delaware and Elsewhere

Updates to the Delaware VDA Program and to Audits in Delaware per

DE SB 104

Delaware Senate Bill 104, effective on August 1, 2021 (though some provisions will apply retroactively) significantly modifies the enforcement scheme in Delaware.

  • VDA invitation response time increased. The timing for holders to respond to a VDA invitation is increased from 60 to 90 days. Holders who receive an invitation may choose to either enter the VDA program or request to enter the expedited audit program (see below). As a reminder, a holder who does not enter the VDA program or the expedited audit program will be referred to the State Escheator for a full audit.
  • Permanent expedited audit program.   Entry into the expedited audit program may be granted or denied at the discretion of the State Escheator, who must respond to a holder’s request to enter the expedited audit program within 60 days.
     
    • Holders are eligible to request an expedited audit for:

      • New audits authorized after August 1, 2021
      • Current audits authorized after February 2, 2017, and before August 1, 2021
      • VDA invitations received as of August 1, 2021
    • If the holder provides “sufficient responses” to the auditor’s requests, an audit report will be provided by Delaware to the holder within 2 years of the date of the acceptance into the expedited audit program.
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Topics: Delaware, Best Practices, Voluntary Disclosure Agreements

7/14/21 8:48 AM

Unclaimed Property Legislative Alert: A Deep Dive Into DE SB 104

Delaware incorporated or domiciled entities should be cognizant of a newly enacted Delaware unclaimed property statute that may significantly impact their unclaimed property situations.

Delaware SB 104, enacted on June 30, 2021, has an effective date of August 1, 2021, though specific provisions related to claims, audits, and pending litigation as of the effective date will apply retroactively. Though the intent of the bill is to provide clarification for holders, confirm current examination practices, and address recent litigation, some of the provisions appear to expand the state’s enforcement capabilities, while others contract the protections afforded to holders under the current law.

A summary of the relevant changes made to the Delaware unclaimed property law as a result of DE S 104 follows:

  • Revised VDA and Audit Provisions
    • Response Time to VDA Invite Extended. The timing to respond to a VDA invitation is increased from 60 to 90 days. Holders who receive an invitation may enter the VDA program or request to enter the expedited audit program (see below).
    • Audit Records Scope. The State Escheator can examine the records of the holder or a subsidiary or affiliate of the holder to verify the completeness and accuracy of the records, even if the records may not identify property reportable to Delaware. The state is under no obligation to provide a reason or justification for the examination of records, other than that it relates to determining compliance.
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Topics: Delaware, Compliance, Audit, Best Practices

7/9/21 10:02 AM

Unclaimed Property Bills Related to Virtual Currency Continue To Pass

DE S 103, which was signed into law on June 30, 2021, and becomes effective on August 1, 2021, is the latest bill to define virtual currency and include it in the definition of “property” as a property type eligible for escheat. Virtual currency is presumed abandoned 5 years after the owner’s last indication of interest and holders must liquidate it within 90 days of filing an unclaimed property report and remit the proceeds to the administrator. As we have seen in similar bills pending in the unclaimed property space, owners have no recourse against the holder or the state for any gains in value post liquidation.

As the use and popularity of virtual currencies rise and become accepted, the states are similarly stepping up their legislation to bring virtual currency within the scope of escheatable property by introducing bills like DE S 103. States are also looking to the holder to liquidate the virtual currency as they are presently unable to take custody of cryptocurrencies in their native form.

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Topics: Delaware, Compliance, Reporting, Best Practices

5/27/21 7:51 AM

Target Date for Delaware's Next Round of VDA Invitations: May 28, 2021

Unclaimed property holders need to stay vigilant about checking the mail. The DE Secretary of State (SOS) has indicated its intent to send out the latest round of VDA invitations on or about May 28, 2021. VDA invitations are sent several times per year to companies that are identified by the state as “likely being out of compliance” with Delaware’s unclaimed property law. 

Under Delaware law, the state cannot initiate an unclaimed property examination (audit) unless a company has first been notified in writing by the SOS that it may enter into the SOS VDA Program. Holders who do not enroll in the VDA Program within the 60-day notice period set forth in the letter will be referred to the Department of Finance for an unclaimed property audit.

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Topics: Delaware, Audit, Best Practices, Voluntary Disclosure Agreements