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Unclaimed Property Rules and Time Limits for New Mexico

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 New Mexico.

In New Mexico, all things relating to unclaimed property are handled by the Unclaimed Property Office of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department.

  • 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).

New Mexico 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 New Mexico property is generally presumed abandoned if it has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after it becomes 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 New Mexico

In New Mexico, a holder of property presumed abandoned must file a verified annual report containing information concerning the property required by the Taxation and Revenue Department. The report must be filed before November 1 of each year and cover the twelve months next preceding July 1 of that year, but a report with respect to a life insurance company must be filed before May 1 of each year for the calendar year next preceding.

A holder of more than 25 properties presumed abandoned must report the properties in an electronic media format.

Before the date for filing the report, the holder of property presumed abandoned may request the administrator to extend the time for filing the report. The administrator may grant the extension for good cause. The holder, upon receipt of the extension, may make an interim payment on the amount the holder estimates will ultimately be due, which terminates the accrual of additional interest on the amount paid.

Prior notice to owner. Not more than 120 days before filing the report, the holder of unclaimed property valued at $50 or more must send written notice to the apparent owner at his last known address informing him that the holder is in possession of such property.

The holder of unclaimed intangible property in the form of checks in payment of royalty interests, working interests or other interests payable out of oil and gas production with a value of $50.00 or more has a special due diligence obligation. The holder must attempt to locate the apparent owner during the five-year period preceding the presumption of abandonment. If he fails to do so, he is liable for interest for the period until the amounts are paid, payable to the state of New Mexico or to the owner, if the property has been successfully claimed. Proof of due diligence may consist of written notice mailed to the apparent owner's last known address or publication of notice.

Delivery. Along with the report, the holder delivers the unclaimed property to the Department. However, tangible property held in a safe deposit box or other safekeeping depository may not be delivered until 120 days after filing the report.

Recordkeeping. A business must generally maintain related records 10 years after the unclaimed property is reported. However, the period is three years for traveler's checks, money orders, and similar financial instruments.

Penalties. a holder who fails to report, pay or deliver property within the time prescribed must pay interest at the annual rate set by the department on the property or value thereof

from the date the property should have been reported, paid, or delivered.

Claiming Unclaimed Property in New Mexico

In New Mexico, property is generally presumed abandoned if it has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after it becomes 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. Unclaimed property held by the state may be found by searching the state's website (https://ec3.state.nm.us/ucp/).

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 delivered to the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department may file a claim online (https://ec3.state.nm.us/ucp/) after performing a successful online search. The Department must consider and decide on such claim within 90 days after it is filed

A person dissatisfied with a decision of the Department or whose claim was not acted upon within 90 days after the filing date may maintain an original action to establish the claim in the district court for the first judicial district, naming the administrator as a defendant. If the aggrieved person establishes the claim in an action against the administrator, the court may award the claimant reasonable attorney fees.

New Mexico 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 New Mexico, contact the following:

New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department
Unclaimed Property Office
P.O. Box 25123
Santa Fe, NM 87504-5123
Phone: (505) 476 -1774
Fax: (505) 827-1759
Website: https://ec3.state.nm.us/ucp/

New Mexico Abandoned Property Time Limits

Property Type Presumed Abandoned After
Bank account five years
Checks or drafts five years
Demutualization proceeds no specific provision
Gift certificates, gift cards, and credit memos Gift certificates: three years after December 31 of the year the certificate was sold
Customer credit: three years.
Insurance policies Life or annuity policies: three years
IRAs or retirement funds IRAs and defined benefit plan funds: three years
Money orders seven years
Other intangible personal property not otherwise specified five years
Includes debts of a business association
Proceeds from class action suits one year
Property distributable by a business association in the course of dissolution one year
Property held by courts or public agencies one year
Property held by fiduciaries five years
Safe deposit boxes five years
Shares in a financial institution no specific provision
Stocks, dividends, and distributions five years
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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