One the biggest developments in the world of unclaimed property came this past year from new legislation passed in Delaware that launched a new Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) initiative. The impact of this new program is far reaching, as more than 50% of all publicly-traded companies in the United States (including 63% of the Fortune 500) have chosen Delaware as their state of corporate domicile.
In the month of January, Keane had the opportunity to host a webinar featuring Jeffrey Bullock, Delaware Secretary of State, and Geoffrey Sawyer from the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath, the administrators of the new program. The Delaware VDA webinar was well attended with over 200 companies in attendance to get the latest news on the program and to learn how to enroll.
If you were unable to join us for this webinar, we invite you to view the replay at your convenience. You can also download the presentation slides and view the entire Questions & Answers document.
Click here to view the Delaware VDA Webinar Replay.
The Delaware Secretary of State kicked off the meeting by providing a brief introduction on his role in the new policy and how it originated. The meeting was then handed off to Geoffrey Sawyer to cover the details regarding the administration of the program. Highlights of his segment included the following:
- Quick facts on the Delaware VDA Program
- The key differences between an audit and the VDA program
- Differences between the previous VDA program and new VDA initiative
- The value brought to holders if they enroll
- How to enroll and how the process works
- What to expect during records review and estimated timeline for completion
- Enrollment deadlines
This new VDA initiative gives organizations the opportunity to report any past-due unclaimed property without the threat of an audit while abating penalties and interest. Additionally, holders who participate can reduce their look-back periods, in some cases, by as much as 15 years. Companies that successfully complete the program will also receive a release of all past due unclaimed property liability up to the present.
If you are interested in enrolling in the Delaware VDA program, we encourage you to act fast. Holders that have received an audit notice are not eligible to participate in the program. Delaware took a temporary hiatus from sending audit notifications to allow holders to enroll, but were expected to resume issuing notifications in February. If you have additional questions on the program, please contact Valerie Jundt at VJundt@keaneup.com.