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Unclaimed Property Rules and Time Limits for Utah

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 Utah.

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

Utah 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 Utah property is generally presumed abandoned after three years of inactivity by the owner of the property. 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 Utah

In Utah, a holder of abandoned property reports the property by November 1 for property balances as of the close of business on June 30. The Treasurer may extend the time to file the report upon written request.

All holders are encouraged to report electronically, but holders reporting 25 or more records must file electronically. If you choose to submit your electronic report on CD or diskette by mail, include a printed copy of your report in your packet. Holders submitting reports with fewer than 25 properties may file on paper.

Prior notice to owner. Within 120 days before filing the report, the holder must send written notice to the apparent owner at the last known address regarding property to be reported.

Delivery. Along with the report, the holder delivers the unclaimed funds and intangible property to the Treasurer. The Treasurer may postpone delivery of property or accept the property before it is presumed abandoned.

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

Penalties. a holder that willfully fails to deliver property to the Treasurer is liable for a penalty of 20 percent of the value of the property that should have been delivered and interest at the rate of two percent per year above the local prime lending rate.

If the holder refuses after written demand by the Treasurer to deliver property, the holder is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Claiming Unclaimed Property in Utah

In Utah, property is generally presumed abandoned after three years of inactivity by the owner of the property. 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://www.up.utah.gov/UP_Search.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. Whenever property is delivered to the Utah State Treasurer, the owner may receive from the Treasurer the principal amount turned over to the state. To start the recovery process, fill out a state claim inquiry form available online (https://www.up.utah.gov/UP_Search.asp) after performing a successful search. The Treasurer will contact you with how to proceed from there.

The Treasurer gives a written decision within 90 days after the filing of the claim if the claim is denied. Any person dissatisfied with a decision of the Treasurer may obtain judicial review.

Utah 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 Utah, contact the following:

Utah State Treasurer
Unclaimed Property Division
341 South Main St., 5th Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Phone: (801) 320-5360, (888) 217-1203 (toll free)
Fax: (801) 533-4096
Website: http://www.up.utah.gov/

Utah Abandoned Property Time Limits

Property Type Presumed Abandoned After
Bank account three years
Checks or drafts three years
Demutualization proceeds no specific provision
Gift certificates, gift cards, and credit memos Gift certificates over $25 and credit memos: five years.
Insurance policies Life or annuity policies: three years.
The presumed maturity of an insurance policy is two years.
IRAs or retirement funds no specific provision
Money orders seven years
Other intangible personal property not otherwise specified Litigation or settlement funds: one year.
Mineral proceeds and other: three years.
Proceeds from class action suits one year
Property distributable by a business association in the course of dissolution one year
Includes refunds.
Property held by courts or public agencies one year
Property held by fiduciaries three years
Safe deposit boxes five years
Shares in a financial institution three years
Stocks, dividends, and distributions three years
Traveler's checks 15 years
Deposits and advances owed utility company customer one year
Wages or salaries one year

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