Broad Industry Experience
In addition to our experience in the banking, brokerage, insurance, and mutual fund industries, Keane provides communications solutions for the shareowners of thousands of publicly traded corporations.
Likewise, we provide consulting, and compliance services to a vast range of industries and have the experience to deliver customized solutions to reduce escheatment in virtually any situation. Below are examples of how unclaimed property variations across industry impact clients differently and create distinct unclaimed property challenges and solution requirements.
Oil & Gas
The most commonly recognized property types in the oil & gas industry are related to mineral interest proceeds. However, there are many other types of unclaimed property that oil & gas companies may fail to report if they have not adopted a company-wide unclaimed property policy and successfully implemented comprehensive unclaimed property procedures. Common types of unclaimed property include accounts payable balances, payroll, accounts receivable credits, gift cards, benefit plans, and worker’s compensation. Additional areas of concern are suspense accounts, branded credit card balances, equity related property and debt related property. View our Webinar on Unclaimed Property Best Practices for Oil & Gas.
In addition to the rebate checks or prepaid gift card that are commonly offered with the purchase of a mobile phone or tablet, subscription refunds and credits are some of the most common forms of unclaimed property for mobile phone and internet service providers. Unclaimed rebates that are beyond their dormancy period must be reported to the individual state on an annual basis. Failure to comply may result in state-mandated penalties and interest, and could potentially lead to a full-blown audit or litigation.
Given the traditionally high volume of utility refund checks and customer utility deposits, utility companies should place a high priority on monitoring the disbursements made for refunds and deposits. A proactive approach to mitigate the unclaimed property risk in the utilities industry would be to ensure the consistent solicitation of customer addresses, especially a correct forwarding address upon account closure so whether the customer moves across the state or across the street, you’ll be able to property return refunds or deposits.
A common risk in the current healthcare industry is the creation of credit balances by actions such as overpayments, misposted/unapplied payments, unused rebates, Medicare credits, wellness credits, and Health Savings Account (HSA) transfers. Although credit balances are often found in small amounts, the stakes are high. Most state escheat laws prohibit providers and other holders from taking credit balances into income. Failure to report credit balances on an annual basis may result in a multi-state audit and/or substantial fines and penalties.
By far the biggest challenges to most retailers are gift cards, gift certificates, and stored value cards. Like any other form of unclaimed property, gift cards have a dormancy period that must pass before unused balances are considered reportable. Additional sources of unclaimed property that also must be accounted for include customer refund checks, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and uncashed payroll checks.
Transportation & Logistics
Some of the more common unclaimed property pitfalls in the transportation industry include unused balances from prepaid shipping accounts, uncashed refund checks from lost or damaged shipments, and credits from overpayment of international duties and taxes. All three are considered forms of unclaimed property and must be reported based on the property type and each state’s dormancy rules surrounding each property type.
Interested in learning how your industry or business is affected by Unclaimed Property? Speak with an Unclaimed Property expert at 800-848-8896 or email us at Questions@KeaneUP.com