Unclaimed property is almost as certain as death and taxes. Nearly every business entity generates it. This seemingly nondescript business function requires complex recordkeeping, due diligence and regulatory knowledge. Corporate leaders rarely get involved, but recent aggressive enforcement has drawn unclaimed property concerns upward. Incompliance, a situation many companies find themselves in after decades of non-enforcement, could be seen as breaking the law. Costs—to both reputation and finances—can be substantial. Third-party auditors seek every angle to leverage unreported amounts into large penalties with interest rates as high as 18%. Ignoring this situation could cause big problems when you least need the distraction.
Executive leaders don’t need to know everything about unclaimed property. Just the basics—enough to communicate intelligently with staff they trust to resolve this potentially disruptive situation and move it behind the scenes where it belongs. Use this glossary to quickly come up to speed and help your team put unclaimed property in its place. Once that happens, you’ll barely notice it again.
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