Unclaimed Property Rules and Time Limits for Missouri

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 Missouri.

In Missouri, all things relating to unclaimed property are handled by the Unclaimed Property Division of the Office of Missouri 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).

Missouri 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 Missouri property is generally presumed abandoned if it has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after it became payable or distributable. 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.

Reporting Unclaimed Property in Missouri

In Missouri, information reports are required of persons holding property (e.g., banks, insurance companies) which reverts to the state by reason of a presumption of abandonment. The report is made to the State Treasurer and is due before November 1 for each year ending as of the preceding June 30. For life insurance companies, the report is due by May 1 for the year ending the preceding December 31.

The report requires identification of the property and its former owner and dates when the property became payable and when the last transaction with the owner occurred.

Prior notice to owner. If the owner is due $50 or more, a holder must attempt to locate the owner before remitting the property to the state. This due diligence requirement may be accomplished by sending a letter, detailing the amount due and requesting a positive confirmation, to the owners last known address or new address if one is available. Other reasonable means of contacting the owner may also be used instead of the letter.

Delivery. Property reported as unclaimed is delivered to the State Treasurer at the same time as the report is filed.

Recordkeeping. A business must generally maintain related records five years after the unclaimed property is reported. However, the recordkeeping requirement is 12 years for property with a seven year dormancy period.

Penalties. Failure to submit the required report may subject the property holder to a penalty of five percent of the value of the property (but not less than $100) for each month the report remains unfiled to a maximum of 25 percent of the value of the property.

A penalty of not less than $100 or more than $10,000 may be assessed for failure to deliver abandoned property.

Claiming Unclaimed Property in Missouri

In Missouri, property is generally presumed abandoned if it has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after it became payable or distributable. 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. The State Treasurer is required to publish a notice within 240 days of the filing of the information report by a business for each year listing the reported unclaimed property and the alphabetized names of the apparent owners together with their last known address. The notice is published for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation and is also sent to each apparent owner individually within 120 days of the receipt of the information report. The Treasurer must also work with other state agencies to provide property holders with notice of their rights and responsibilities under Missouri's unclaimed property laws.

Unclaimed property held by the state may also be found by searching the state's website (http://www.treasurer.mo.gov/mainucp.asp).

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. Claims for recovery of abandoned property are made to the State Treasurer, who will notify the claimant in writing of his finding. a claim is initiated by searching the state's website (http://www.treasurer.mo.gov/mainucp.asp). If a search turns something up, check the box next to your name and follow the View Details link to initiate an online claim.

A person dissatisfied with a decision of the Treasurer or whose claim has not been acted upon within 90 days may appeal the decision.

Missouri 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 in Missouri, contact the following:

Office of Missouri State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 1004
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone: (573) 751-0123
Fax: (573) 751-0343
Website: http://www.treasurer.mo.gov/mainUCP.asp

Missouri Abandoned Property Time Limits

Each state has rules that specify the amount of time that must elapse before unclaimed property is considered to be abandoned. The amount of time varies with the type of property. The chart below specifies the time period for various classes of property.

Property Type Presumed Abandoned After
Bank account five years
Checks or drafts five years
Demutualization proceeds two years
Gift certificates, gift cards, and credit memos gift certificates, credit memos, and credit balances redeemable only for merchandise: five years
Insurance policies Life or annuity policies: five years
IRAs or retirement funds no specific provision
Money orders seven years
Other intangible personal property not otherwise specified five years
Proceeds from class action suits no specific provision
Property distributable by a business association in the course of dissolution two years
Property held by courts or public agencies three years
Property held by fiduciaries five years
Safe deposit boxes five years
Shares in a financial institution five years
Stocks, dividends, and distributions five years
Traveler's checks 15 years
Deposits and advances owed utility company customer deposits, refunds, and advances: five years
Wages or salaries no specific provision

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