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 our information is that Delaware intends to continue this practice on an on-going basis.
The latest round of VDA invitations were mailed to a significant number of Delaware incorporated companies on February 15, 2019. Recipient companies had to respond to these notices within 60 days (i.e., by April 15), or they would be referred to the Delaware Department of Finance, which would then have the option to commence an unclaimed property audit.
As the deadline has now passed, notified companies that failed to respond can no longer enter the VDA program. Based on recent history, we would now expect all companies that did not enter the VDA program to receive an audit notice in the very near future.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 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 of 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. Even if you have missed a deadline, it isn't too late to address the situation.