Keane's Unclaimed Property Blog

Top 10 Reasons to Enroll in the Delaware Unclaimed Property VDA Program

Compliance Update – October 2017: The Delaware Secretary of State has notified holder advocates such as Keane that it intends to mail notices to holders believed to be noncompliant with Delaware unclaimed property reporting laws. Holders will have 60 days from the mailing of these letters to enroll in the Delaware unclaimed property VDA program or be referred to the State Escheator for audit.

Compliance Update – March 2016: Keane has learned an additional wave of VDA notices has been distributed to 100-300 holders, many of whom have already been notified. These holders are now considered audit eligible and expected to receive an examination notice from the Delaware State Escheator.

Compliance Update – July 2015: With the passage of DE SB 141, the Delaware Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (“VDA”) program has been reinstated indefinitely. Holders that missed the original application deadline are strongly encouraged to enroll in the program to avoid a costly unclaimed property audit and receive a full and comprehensive release of any past-due liabilities.

Keane Webinar: Delaware Compliance Update
Originally Presented March 2, 2017 – View the On-Demand Replay

If you have a reporting obligation to Delaware – meaning your company is incorporated in Delaware, operates in Delaware, or has investors, customers, or shareholders in Delaware – then it is highly encouraged to enroll in this voluntary compliance initiative before the window of opportunity closes your organization receives an official audit notice from the State Escheator.

Keane’s National Consulting & Advisory Services Team has provided the top reasons why holders should enroll in the Delaware Unclaimed Property VDA Program. While this program has already seen a tremendous response rate, many companies have still not yet enrolled.  As such, they may be risking the likelihood of facing an unclaimed property audit (which historically can take anywhere from 3-5 years to close).

Top 10 Reasons to Enroll in the Delaware Unclaimed Property VDA Program

  1. Broad Release—after completing the VDA program the Delaware Secretary of State  will issue a full and comprehensive release to include the delivery of all past-due properties up and through the date of the final deliverable.
  2. Avoid the Audit— Once accepted into the Delaware VDA program, the state agrees not to audit the Holder.  (Exception:  fraud).  Holders that have already received an audit notice are not eligible to enroll in this new program.
    • Noteworthy: Audit notices have not been suspended!  Holders are being selected and audits continue to be authorized by the Department of Revenue.
  3. Abatement of Penalties & Interest—Delaware’s penalties and interest are among some of the highest in the nation.  (in some cases up to 50% of the liability—75% in cases of filing a fraudulent report)
  4. Take advantage of reduced look-back periods—the record review look back period is shortened from 1981(audit) to 1993 (VDA).
  5. Accelerate the review period—the VDA is designed to be completed within 9-12 months, as opposed to an audit, which can take on average 5-7 years.
  6. Customize the scope of your VDAThe VDA can be customized to your liking.  For example you have the option of selecting the property types and/or legal entities within the scope of the VDA.
  7. Control the Process The entire Delaware VDA process is designed to allow companies to come into compliance faster, easier, and less expensive than an audit.
  8. Identify Gaps & Inconsistencies – The unclaimed property professionals at KEANE will provide independent support to help review and test current procedures in an effort to help you identify current strengths and/or weaknesses in your compliance process.
  9. Steer the OutcomeThe VDA incentive was also created to provide the Holder with the opportunity to more efficiently control the process and timing of the work.
  10. Full Compliance Once all the work is complete, the heavy lifting is over!  The work, efforts and information that were gained as a result of the DE VDA process will serve as a springboard with other states where you may have gaps in reporting.

The final deliverables are due and must be closed by June 30, 2015.  Holders enrolled in the program are strongly encouraged to utilize the services of an experienced unclaimed property specialist who possess a thorough understanding of what is required to successfully complete the program timely and efficiently.

Editors Note: With the passage of DE SB 141 – the Delaware VDA Program described above has been reinstated and extended indefinitely. If you missed the deadlines above, this opportunity is once again available.

Keane has the depth of experience and knowledge to assist YOUR Company successfully complete the requirements necessary to take advantage of the Delaware VDA Program. Contact us to get started.

The deadline to enroll in the Delaware Unclaimed Property VDA Program is quickly approaching…audit notices are being released NOW!

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