Missouri Unclaimed Property Reporting: Legislature Proposes Changes to Unclaimed Property Law

On February 2, 2011, Missouri unclaimed property reporting met new stipulations. The Legislature submitted a bill proposing a business-to-business exemption to its Missouri unclaimed property law.

The proposed law exempts any "intangible property due or owed by a business association to, or for the benefit of, another business association resulting from a transaction occurring in the normal and ordinary course of business" from escheatment.

Missouri Unclaimed Property Reporting Statute of Limitations

Missouri Unclaimed Property ReportingIn addition to this stipulation, a statute of limitations is proposed. If enacted, this bill will prevent the state treasurer from enforcing the Unclaimed Property Act for a given reportable period more than three years after 1) the holder filed a report, or 2) the holder gave notice of a dispute under the Act. If no report is filed, there is no limitation on the Treasurer.

Like other unclaimed property regulations, when it comes to statutes of limitations, it varies by state. There are currently 18 states, including Missouri, who have no statute of limitation. Another 23 states have statutes of limitation that stretch to ten years and beyond. Should this bill pass, Missouri would join a very small group of seven states operating with statutes of limitation of five years or less. In fact, if Missouri’s proposal of a three-year statute of limitation passes, it will join Idaho, one of two states with the shortest statute of limitations in the country. This would be a huge benefit to holders submitting unclaimed property reporting in Missouri – as it will not only limit how far the state can go back into an organization’s records via an audit more than three years after a report, but it also will essentially cap how much an organization may owe in fines and penalties so long as they remain in compliance with the Missouri escheatment law.

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