Keane's Unclaimed Property Blog

Washington State Offers Waiver of Unclaimed Property Penalties

Unclaimed property holders in Washington State will have an opportunity to avoid penalties and interest for any past-due property. Holders who qualify for the penalty and interest waiver program will have the opportunity to forego penalties for prior unreported periods as long as they report and remit payment for outstanding unclaimed property before November 1, 2017.

Washington previously offered an unclaimed property amnesty program in 2016. Holders that did not enroll in the program and may still have past-due property on their books and records are encouraged to enroll in advance of legislative changes that will revise penalties and interest for late or improper filing.

How to Qualify for the Washington State Unclaimed Property Penalties and Interest Waiver Program

In order to qualify holders must complete a penalty and interest waiver application and file a report listing all property for which the waiver is requested. Additionally, holders must pay and deliver all outstanding unclaimed property amounts identified within the report to qualify for the unclaimed property waiver.

Changes to Washington State Unclaimed Property Penalties

As noted above, Washington has updated its unclaimed property penalty and interest rates. These rates will apply to unpaid amounts and the value of any property that was previously not delivered to the State.

Beginning on July 1, 2017, the Washington State unclaimed property penalty provisions include:

  • Failure to report, pay or deliver unclaimed property by the due date – 10%
  • Examination of unclaimed property results in an assessment for amounts unpaid or property not delivered – 10%
  • Failure to pay under an assessment by the due date – 5%
  • Amounts payable or deliverable under the report for failure to file and pay electronically as required – 5%
  • Civil penalty for willful failure to file a report or send written notification to owners – $100/day up to $5,000

Washington Online Reporting Requirement

Last year, Washington State passed legislation requiring holders to file reports electronically through the Washington State Unclaimed Property Web Portal, effective July 2016. Any holders who are unable to complete these forms electronically must contact the Washington State Unclaimed Property Department prior to filing required reports.

Washington State Unclaimed Property Holder Seminar

To help organizations fulfill their compliance obligations with Washington State Unclaimed Property Laws, Keane will be hosting a complimentary unclaimed property seminar on Thursday, May 18, 2017 in Seattle.

Led by Barbara Rice and Quinten Moore from Keane’s National Consulting & Advisory Services Group, and featuring guest speakers from the Washington State Department of Revenue, discussions will focus on unclaimed property reporting and compliance issues unique to organizations doing business in Washington State and the Pacific Northwest, such as the revised penalty and interest structure.

Discussions will include how companies can ensure compliance in the 2017 reporting cycle, minimize the risk of unclaimed property audit, and apply best practices that will help maximize the return of property to the rightful owners.

The Washington State Unclaimed Property Holders Seminar is free of charge for up to three members of your company, and qualified attendees will have the opportunity to earn up to 3 CPE credits.

To register please fill out the form below. For more information please click here.

For additional information or assistance on applying for the Washington Unclaimed Property Penalty and Interest Waiver, please contact Keane at Keane has extensive experience in guiding holders through amnesty and voluntary disclosure and amnesty programs in all jurisdictions.

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