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Unclaimed Property Rules and Time Limits for Connecticut

Filed under Basic Accounting. Fact checked on May 24, 2012.

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Learn the unclaimed property rules and their time limits for the state of Connecticut.

In Connecticut, all things relating to unclaimed property are handled by the Unclaimed Property Division of the Connecticut State Treasurer.

  • As a business owner, this will be the agency to contact if you possess unclaimed property (unpaid wages, for example). Remember that you are subject to both reporting requirements and the obligation to turn over abandoned property to the state.
  • It is also the point of contact if you believe that you may have knowingly, or unknowingly, abandoned property (for example, failing to get back a security deposit, didn't receive a tax refund).

Connecticut businesses have a number of responsibilities concerning unclaimed property. Initially, written notice must be sent to the apparent owner of the unclaimed property, if known. If the property remains unclaimed, businesses have a number of filing and reporting requirements to fulfill. Most importantly, businesses are required to turn over any and all unclaimed property to the state. Stiff penalties apply to businesses who fail to comply with any of these requirements.

Individuals should know that Connecticut property is generally presumed abandoned if there has been no owner contact with the property for a set period, usually three or five years. However, this time limit varies depending on the type of property involved. Once abandoned property is turned over to the state by a business, an individual then has the burden to reclaim it from the state.

Reporting Unclaimed Property in Connecticut

A holder of abandoned property reports the property to the Connecticut State Treasurer. Reports and remittances of unclaimed property are due annually from all holders on March 31. Reports and remittances should not be sent prior to January 1 for the previous calendar year activity.

Prior notice to owner. Within 180 days before a presumption of abandonment is to take effect, the holder of the property must notify the owner at his last known address that evidence of interest must be indicated or the property will be remitted to the state.

In the case of the dissolution or liquidation of an organization, sufficient notice may be given by certified or registered mail to the shareholders in the course of the dissolution or liquidation.

Delivery. Within 90 days after the close of the calendar year in which property is presumed abandoned, the holder must deliver the property to the Treasurer along with the report of the unclaimed property.

The Treasurer may decline to receive any property the value of which is less than the cost of giving notice or holding a sale. Alternatively, the Treasurer may postpone taking possession until a sufficient sum accumulates.

Recordkeeping. A business must generally maintain related records five years after the unclaimed property is reported. However, the period is three years for traveler's checks, money orders, and similar financial instruments.

Penalties. Any person who fails to timely report abandoned property pays interest on the property of 15 percent per year from the date the property should have been reported. The Treasurer may waive the interest on a showing of a good faith effort to comply.

Claiming Unclaimed Property in Connecticut

In Connecticut, property is generally presumed abandoned if there has been no owner contact with the property for a set period, usually three or five years. However, this time limit varies depending on the type of property involved. Once abandoned property is turned over to the state by a business, an individual then has the burden of reclaiming it from the state.

Locating abandoned property held by the state. Once every two years, the Connecticut State Treasurer's Office is required to publish the names of new owners for whom the state holds unclaimed property. The notice is published in major newspapers across the state.

The Treasurer also participates in various outreach programs held at fairs, expos, and home shows throughout the state

In addition, unclaimed property held by the state may be found by searching the state's website (http://www.state.ct.us/ott/ucpowners.htm).

To find out if other states may be holding your unclaimed property, search the national database established by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA).

Filing a claim. Any person claiming an interest in property held by the state may file a claim with the Treasurer. The process is started by filing an online inquiry or calling (800) 833-7318.

The Treasurer gives a written decision within 90 days after the filing of the claim if the claim is denied. A person dissatisfied with the decision or whose claim has not been acted upon within the 90 days may bring an action to establish the claim in a court of competent jurisdiction. The action must be filed within 90 days of the decision or, if the claim was not acted upon, within 180 days of filing the claim.

Connecticut Unclaimed Property Resources

If you're looking for additional information on unclaimed property, we recommend contacting your state's governmental agency that oversees the administration of this area of the law. For help in answering a specific unclaimed property question, contact the following:

Office of the State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 5065
Hartford, CT 06102
Phone: 1-800-833-7318
Online inquiries: www.ctbiglist.com
Website: http://www.state.ct.us/ott/aboutucp.htm

Connecticut Abandoned Property Time Limits

Property Type Presumed Abandoned After
Bank account three years
Checks or drafts three years after they are payable or after their issuance if payable on demand
The presumption of abandonment does not apply if the owner, within the preceding three years, has communicated in writing with the banking or financial organization concerning the instrument or has otherwise indicated an interest in the instrument (as evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the bank or the fact that the Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 sent from the banking or financial organization to the owner is not returned to the banking or financial organization by the United States Postal Service).
Demutualization proceeds three years
Gift certificates, gift cards, and credit memos Gift certificates: within three years from purchase or last transaction.
Insurance policies Life or annuity policies: three years.
IRAs or retirement funds IRAs and SEPs: six months.
Money orders three years
Other intangible personal property not otherwise specified Other property: three years.
Includes mineral proceeds.
Proceeds from class action suits no specific provision
Property distributable by a business association in the course of dissolution after the date of final dissolution
Property held by courts or public agencies one year
Includes claims against the state of over $3,000.
Federal tax refunds or rebates: three years.
Property held by federal agencies: five years.
Property held by federal courts: four years.
Property held by fiduciaries seven years
Safe deposit boxes five years
Shares in a financial institution three years
Stocks, dividends, and distributions three years
Traveler's checks Issued by a bank: three years.
Other traveler's checks: 15 years.
Deposits and advances owed utility company customer Deposits and refunds: one year.
Wages or salaries one year

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