Expanded Liability in Unclaimed Property: Are States Going Too Far?

This Council Perspectives was authored in conjunction with The Conference Board Council of Chief Legal Officers.

Unclaimed property includes both tangible and intangible property. Companies are becoming increasingly concerned that some U.S. states, aiming to increase revenues, are adopting a broad and systematic expansion of the concept of corporate unclaimed property liability that has moved beyond the original intent of the law. States have acknowledged that the desire to increase revenue has intensified enforcement but also point to historically low compliance rates, which they say remain far below tax compliance rates.

This report is the result of discussions held by The Conference Board Council of Chief Legal Officers over the course of two meetings in April and October 2010. It analyzes findings from a survey of 55 corporations administered by The Conference Board in February and March 2011 and offers practical guidelines for companies to help mitigate liability and risk.

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