re you aware Georgia has laws requiring businesses to report abandoned property to the state? If not, this article provides a helpful summary. If so, take this as a refresher and reminder that businesses and individuals should occasionally check whether they may have any abandoned property to claim.
What is “unclaimed property”?
In Georgia, “unclaimed property” includes accounts held by financial institutions and other businesses who have lost contact with the owner of record. It includes paychecks, savings accounts, customer refunds, accounts payable, account balances, credit memos, insurance payments, shares of stock, escrow funds, royalties, contents from safe deposit boxes, unused gift certificates, security deposits, and other types of property. Generally property is “unclaimed” after five years.
Who must report?
All private companies (including banks and insurance companies) as well as government agencies must report to the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Unclaimed Property Program and turn over unclaimed property. There are certain forms that must be submitted.
There are penalties for failing to comply.
There can be severe monetary penalties for businesses that do not comply. A company that willfully fails to report unclaimed property or comply with other duties must pay $100/day for each day of violation (up to $5,000). A company that willfully fails to pay or deliver property must pay 25% of the value of the property. O.C.G.A. § 44-12-227.
Please contact us if you need any assistance navigating the reporting requirements of Georgia’s unclaimed property laws or questions about compliance.
https://gaclaims.unclaimedproperty.com/en/ (Search for Unclaimed Property)
https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2019/title-44/chapter-12/article-5/ (Georgia statutes)