Quick Guide: Wisconsin Escheat & Unclaimed Property Laws

This page addresses key areas of interest regarding Wisconsin unclaimed property and escheatment laws and regulations.

Key Wisconsin Unclaimed Property Reporting Deadlines

Wisconsin has a fall deadline for annual reporting and remittance. Holders of unclaimed property must report and remit by October 31st.

Early reporting is permitted with prior approval from the Administrator.

Negative reports are required for financial institutions, utility companies, and life insurance companies with a physical presence in Wisconsin, even if there is no unclaimed property to report. The negative report can be filed on the state’s unclaimed property website.

All holders have an obligation to report abandoned or unclaimed property to the state in order to maintain compliance with Wisconsin’s unclaimed property laws and regulations.

Holders reporting to Wisconsin are required to submit their reports electronically via the state’s unclaimed property website. It should be noted that NAUPA encryption (HDE) is not accepted.

Wisconsin Due Diligence Requirements

Wisconsin requires holders to send due diligence notifications via first class mail for any property with a value of $50 or more.

Due diligence letters must be sent each reporting cycle to the apparent owner at the last known address not more than 120 days from the reporting deadline.

This notice should inform the owner that the holder is in possession of unclaimed property that will be turned over to the state unless the owner claims it from the holder before the report is filed.

Do you have specific questions regarding Wisconsin Escheat & Unclaimed Property Laws? Keane can help. Contact us today.

Wisconsin Reciprocal Reporting

Wisconsin has formal reciprocal reporting agreements with 20 states. A list of these states can be found in the unclaimed property holder report guide. Businesses incorporated in Wisconsin are permitted to report incidental amounts (less than 10 items) of unclaimed property belonging to out-of-state-owners. Holders are still required to abide by each state’s dormancy periods and property codes when preparing reciprocal reports.

Wisconsin Dormancy Periods

Dormancy periods in Wisconsin vary by property type. Generally, most property types have a 5 year dormancy period.

Accounts are considered dormant if the owner of a property has not indicated an interest in the property or if no contact has been made for the allotted dormancy period for that property.

Dormancy periods in Wisconsin for common property types include:

  • Wages, Payroll or Salary: 1 year
  • Dividends: 3 years
  • Travelers Checks: 15 years

Wisconsin Unclaimed Property Links

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Key Unclaimed Property Reporting FAQs

The Wisconsin unclaimed property reporting process can be challenging for holders. Does your organization have questions about state unclaimed property laws and requirements? Click on the link below for frequently asked questions regarding unclaimed property reporting and compliance.

Unclaimed Property Reporting & Compliance FAQs

Confused or Overwhelmed? Need Answers?

Reporting unclaimed property in Wisconsin and other jurisdictions can be a stressful process that consumes valuable internal resources. However, when properly managed, the annual reporting and escheatment process does not need to be a burdensome experience.

Contact Keane for assistance in guiding your organization on the path to unclaimed property compliance, or visit our resource library for additional educational and operational resources.

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