Ohio Unclaimed Property Deadline Is Approaching
Employers doing business in Ohio are required to report unclaimed property from dormant accounts to the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Unclaimed Funds (DUF). Even if the company has no unclaimed property, a negative or none (zero) report is still required to be filed. Political subdivisions and 501(c)(3) hospitals are exempt from filing reports.
For most employers, the deadline for reporting is November 1, 2019, for accounts dormant as of June 30, 2019. For life insurance companies, the reporting deadline is May 1, 2020, for accounts dormant as of December 31, 2019.
What Is Unclaimed Property?
Examples of unclaimed property include: bank accounts; insurance proceeds; IRA accounts; stocks, bonds, mutual funds; escrow funds; utility deposits; safe deposit box contents; and uncashed checks.
Payroll professionals should be aware that uncashed paychecks (i.e., unclaimed wages) must be reported. Wages are considered abandoned or unclaimed after one year.
To identify these unclaimed properties, the company's accountant or controller would need to review the company’s accounting records to identify dormant accounts they may be holding. Once these accounts and properties have been identified, the employer is required to complete the due diligence process by sending a “Notice of Unclaimed Funds” to the last known address of the owner or beneficiary of dormant accounts (an employee if unclaimed wages) with a balance of $50, and less than $1,000, via first-class mail.
Employers are required to send the mandatory due diligence notice to the owner or beneficiary of accounts with a value of $1,000 or more by certified mail, return receipt requested. The company may charge up to $20 against each account subject to the mailing as a reimbursement for the certified mail cost (include a self-addressed, stamped, return envelope). Allow a minimum of 30 days for the owner or beneficiary to respond to the notice prior to reporting their funds as unclaimed.
If the employer cannot contact the owner then the property will need to be reported. The DUF encourages employers with more than 50 unclaimed accounts to file an electronic report on CD-ROM or DVD in the NAUPA Standard Electronic File Format or by using the HRS Pro Holder Reporting System or UPExchange. Employers can also report unclaimed funds online through the Ohio Business Gateway by uploading a NAUPA electronic reporting file and paying the balance due to the state via ACH debit transfer. Online help and support, tutorials, and telephone support are available from the OBG website.
The employer will need to report all accounts of $50 or more, for which there was no response to the due diligence mailing, the notice was returned due to a bad address, or the owner’s address is unknown. No mailing is required for accounts less than $50; however, applicable accounts are reportable as an aggregate total. There is no minimum amount reportable. If a diligent search has shown that the company is not holding any unclaimed funds, or if all owners respond to the “Notice of Unclaimed Funds” mailing, the employer must file a negative (none) report.
Interested in more state and local payroll coverage? APA’s PayState Update eNewsletter is perfect for you.