Unclaimed Money Information for Enterprises

What is unclaimed money?

Unclaimed money is:

  • money greater than $100 held in an account that has been inactive for at least 6 years
  • trust money under the Property Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 that has been held for more than 2 years irrespective of the amount.

The debiting of a fee, tax, duty or charge, or the crediting of interest or a dividend into the inactive account does not make that account an active account.

Unclaimed money applies only to accounts held in NSW. That is, a record of the money, whether paper or electronic, is kept or maintained in NSW.

Responsibilities of enterprises

Enterprises must:

  • make all reasonable efforts within 6 years to contact their clients to return the money to the rightful owner
  • lodge a return with the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue for any unclaimed money it holds on 30 June each year, by 31 October of that year.

What money is collected by us?

Unclaimed money includes dividends, principal and interest, trust account funds, expenses, refunds, over-payments, deposits, premiums, unpresented cheques, distributions from liquidations, proceeds of sale, royalties and commissions.

What unclaimed money is not collected by us?

  • Money where the recovery by its owner is not prevented by law.
  • If the enterprise holding the money also holds other money for the owner in other accounts.
  • The enterprise believes the owner of the money wants to retain the money in the account.
  • Money belonging to deregistered companies.

Unclaimed money held by banks, credit unions, building societies, friendly societies and life insurance is payable to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

Administration for deregistered companies is the responsibility of ASIC.

Definition of an enterprise

An enterprise can be:

  • a person
  • a partnership
  • an association
  • a society
  • an institution or other body, whether incorporated or not, that operates in NSW and holds money for another person or body.

What to include in the return

The return must list all items of unclaimed money and include details as required in the return specifications.

This includes the following for each item of unclaimed money:

  • the owner's full name
  • the total amount due to the owner
  • the year the money became payable to the owner
  • a description of the money (dividend, interest, deposit)
  • the owner's last known address
  • date of birth of the owner.

The information in the return must be accurate and sufficiently complete for the details to be published and claimants identified.

How to lodge your return

You must lodge your return via our Online Services facility.

The return must meet the unclaimed money return specifications. The file template and specifications are available for unclaimed money.

When you lodge your return, you will receive a lodgement confirmation. Send a copy of this confirmation together with a cheque for the total amount of the return to us. If you are unable to pay by cheque, contact us.

Keep records

An enterprise must keep a copy of the return at its registered office or principal place of operation in NSW for at least 6 years after the date lodged.

Copies of the returns must be available for inspection by us on request.

Penalties for non-lodgement of unclaimed money to us

The Taxation Administration Act 1996 imposes penalties including interest and penalty tax against an enterprise that fails to lodge an unclaimed money return on time.

For more information on unclaimed money, contact us.

Calling from a mobile? Call 02 9685 2142
Or phone 1300 366 016*
8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
Revenue NSW
GPO Box 4042
Sydney NSW 2001

Last updated: 17 February 2016