Inflation is on the rise, with the U.S. inflation rate standing at 8.3% as of April 2022. The current inflation rate is double the rate it was in April 2021, when inflation was just 4.2%. Due to this high inflation, many individuals and businesses are looking for ways to cut back on expenses. One way to do this is by searching for unclaimed property which may be owed to you.
What is Unclaimed Property?
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) defines unclaimed or abandoned property as “property or accounts within financial intuitions or companies in which there has been no activity generated regarding the property for one year or longer.” This includes tangible or intangible property.
Some examples of unclaimed property include:
- Uncashed payroll checks
- Uncashed dividend checks
- Customer overpayments
- Security deposits
- Contents of a safety deposit box
- Insurance payments (including life insurance policies)
Unclaimed Property Statistics
According to the NAUPA, one in 10 Americans have unclaimed property, with Florida reporting that one in five Floridians have unclaimed property from a forgotten financial account.
The total value of unclaimed property in the United States is $49.5 billion, as reported by SmartAsset. Only $3 billion of unclaimed money is returned to its owners by states each year.
How to Find Unclaimed Money
Every U.S. state, along with the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, has its own unique unclaimed property laws, as well as its own procedures on how to claim property. After a certain period of time known as the dormancy period, unclaimed property is handed over to the state based on the owner’s address.
You can find your state’s specific regulations by visiting Unclaimed.org.
Each state also has its own website for finding unclaimed funds and starting the filing process. Each state’s website can be found in one of two ways:
- Perform a Google search by entering the state’s name followed by “unclaimed property search”
- Visit Unclaimed.org, where you can find your state’s program by selecting the state or province.
For our clients’ convenience, we have listed the following five Mid-Atlantic state websites to search for unclaimed property:
- Pennsylvania – https://unclaimedproperty.patreasury.gov/en/Property/SearchIndex
- Maryland – https://interactive.marylandtaxes.gov/individuals/unclaim/default.aspx
- New Jersey – https://unclaimedfunds.nj.gov/app/claim-search
There is no fee for individuals or businesses to search for and claim their unclaimed property. When searching for unclaimed cash, remember to:
- Check states that you previously lived in
- Search for unclaimed money from your business
- Search for records under any previous names you’ve had, such as a maiden name.
If you have any questions regarding unclaimed property, contact your BSSF advisor.
About the Author
The BSSF Tax Department is comprised of tax professionals who provide a wide range of tax services for individuals and businesses across many industries. We keep up to date on the latest tax changes and provide key updates to our clients.