Required Information for Reporting. All reporting of unclaimed property must be done in accordance with M.G.L. c. 200A, § 7. Reports submitted to the Division must be in a format approved by the Treasurer and must include the following:
(a) a completed and notarized AP-1 Form;
(b) a statement that all due diligence requirements of the law have been met by the holder, signed under the
pains and penalty of perjury, along with a copy of a sample due diligence letter;
(c) an electronic copy of the report (magnetic tape or diskette) in the file format currently approved by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA);
(d) in the case of cash property, a certified check or money order made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) (wiring instructions available at the Division);
(e) in the case of securities, a Depository Trust Company (DTC) transfer to the Division (DTC instructions available at the Division), or, in the case of non-DTC eligible securities, direct delivery or transmittal to the Division;
(f) confirmation statements must be included if mutual fund or dividend reinvest accounts are remitted;
- Negative Reports. Negative reports may be filed on the AP-1 Form only and not electronically.
- Disposition of Property. All cash property not associated with securities shall be deposited daily into the Massachusetts "Unclaimed Property Trust Fund." All records of cash deposits shall be entered daily into the Division's UPS System. All securities and associated cash, such as dividends, shall be held by the custodian(s) designated by the Division.
- Required Information.
(b) If submitting checks with unknown owners, holders must insert the word "unknown" in the last name field along with other property identification information required by 960 CMR 4.03(4).
(a) All unclaimed property holder reports submitted to the Division must include, to the extent such information is available to the holder, the following information: 1. owner's name;
2. owner's last known address;
3. owner's Social Security or Federal tax identification number (TIN);
4. owner's date of birth and policy number (for life insurance companies);
5. beneficiary's Social Security number (for life insurance companies);
6. owner's account number (for financial institutions);
7. check numbers, amounts and dates (for checks and money orders);
8. maker(s) of check(s), if available;
9. date of last activity or contact with owner;
- Rejection of Unclaimed Property Reports. The Assistant Treasurer reserves the right to reject the report of any holder whose report is not received within 30 calendar days of the statutory reporting deadline, unless the holder has received an extension for reporting pursuant to M.G.L. c. 200A, § 13B. The Division shall notify every holder whose report is rejected by sending a registered letter to the holder within five business days of rejection of the report. Rejected reports shall be returned to the holder to be resubmitted in compliance with M.G.L. c. 200A, § 7.
(a) In accordance with M.G.L. c. 200A, § 12(c), any holder determined to have violated the provisions of M.G.L. c. 200A, § 7, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $500.00.
(b) In accordance with M.G.L. c. 200A, § 12(e), any holder determined to have failed to file an unclaimed property report within the time prescribed by M.G.L. c. 200A, § 7, including those rejected in accordance with 960 CMR 4.03(5), shall pay the Treasurer interest at the rate allowed by M.G.L. c. 200A, § 12(e).
- Provision of Additional Information to the Division on Unclaimed Property Reports. Holders of property with a value of less than $100.00 are strongly encouraged to submit all information contained in 960 CMR 4.03(4), if it is readily available, so as to strengthen the Division's efforts to reunite all rightful owners with their unclaimed property.
- Reciprocity Agreements with Other States.
(a) The Division shall accept reports containing property of non-Massachusetts residents who are owners of property held by Massachusetts holders if the state in which the owner resides has entered into a reciprocity agreement with the Treasurer. The Division shall maintain an up-to-date list of all states with which it is party to a reciprocity agreement.
(b) Holders incorporated in Massachusetts or non-corporate holders with a principal place of business in Massachusetts that wish to report unclaimed property for customers who live outside Massachusetts should report the property to the respective state(s) in which those customers resided at the time their property became reportable according to the laws of that/those state(s).
- Holder Due Diligence Requirements.
(a) In accordance with M.G.L. c. 200A, § 7A, a due diligence notice must be sent by first-class mail to every owner's last known address at least 60 days prior to the filing of unclaimed property reports with the Division. Nothing in 960 CMR 4.03(9) shall preclude holders from taking additional measures to contact owners before remitting their property to the Division.
(b) Due diligence notices sent to owners of property presumed unclaimed pursuant to M.G.L. c. 200A shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
1. a description of the property, including account number, policy number or other identifying information;
2. a statement explaining that state law requires holders of unclaimed property to report and remit such property to the Division after a designated dormancy period (usually three years);
3. the date the property will be remitted to the Division if there is no owner contact.
- Holder Penalty for Failure to Perform Due Diligence Requirements. Any holder who knowingly fails to provide due diligence notice as required by 960 CMR 4.03(9) shall be subject to a fine of $1.00 for each owner whose property is remitted to the Division by the holder, or $1,000.00, whichever is greater.
- Activity. No owner's property reportable pursuant to M.G.L. c. 200A, § 3 shall be remitted to the Division if the owner maintains an active relationship with a holder with respect to any property of the same owner. This activity shall extend to all accounts, such as trust or investment accounts, which do not normally require activity within the standard period of dormancy described above. However, a "notice of inactivity" shall be sent to the owner of any piece of property presumed unclaimed by virtue of dormancy, regardless of whether the property is subject to being remitted to the Division or whether the owner has other active property being held by the same holder.
- Reporting Procedures for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Defined Benefit Plans, or Other Accounts or Plans Qualified for Tax Deferral under the Income Tax Laws of the United States. Property in an individual retirement account, defined benefit plan, or other account or plan that is qualified for tax deferral under the income tax laws of the United States shall be reported as unclaimed property three
years after the earliest of the following dates: the date of the distribution or attempted distribution of the property, the date of the required distribution as stated in the plan or trust agreement governing the plan, or the date specified in the income tax laws of the United States by which distribution must begin in order to avoid a tax penalty.
- Exemption for Reporting Certain Credit Balances.
(a) Pursuant to the reporting requirements detailed in M.G.L. c. 200A, §§ 5 and 7, an exemption shall exist for any outstanding credit balances between vendors or commercial customers resulting from a transaction occurring in the normal and ordinary course of business. This exemption shall apply to all prior and current reporting years.
(b) Credit balances, as defined in 960 CMR 4.02, shall not be considered unclaimed property, in accordance with M.G.L. c. 200A, § 5. Credit balances may originate from activities such as customer overpayments and shall include balance sheet credits, such as the payment to vendors for the purchase of goods and services.
(c) Nothing in 960 CMR 4.03 should be construed so as to suggest that any commercial customer incorporated or registered to do business in Massachusetts is exempt from unclaimed property reporting obligations relative to credit balances, as defined in 960 CMR 4.02, in other domestic reporting jurisdictions outside of Massachusetts.
- Reporting Procedures for Certificates of Deposit.
(a) The dormancy period for any Certificate of Deposit (CD) shall be deemed to commence upon the initial maturity date of the certificate. Thereafter, certificates of deposit shall be presumed unclaimed in accordance with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 200A, § 3.
(b) If a Certificate of Deposit reaches its initial maturity date and automatically "rolls over", the Certificate becomes reportable as unclaimed property three years following the maturity date of the first "rollover", unless the owner consents to renewal at or about the time of renewal by communicating with the person holding the property pursuant to M.G.L. c. 200A, § 3A. An automatic "roll over" of a Certificate of Deposit is not considered owner activity despite the fact that an initial agreement between the holder and owner may include an automatic "rollover" provision that requires no action by the owner.
For purposes of the application of 960 CMR 4.03(14)(b), a six month Certificate of Deposit would be reported as unclaimed property four years from the date the account was opened, a one-year Certificate of Deposit would be reported as unclaimed property five years from the date the account was opened, and a three-year Certificate of Deposit would be reported as unclaimed property nine years from the date the account was opened.
(c) If, at the time provided for remittance of a dormant Certificate of Deposit in 960 CMR 4.03(14)(b), a penalty or forfeiture in the payment of interest would result from the remittance of the property, the time for remittance is extended until the time when no penalty or forfeiture would result.
For purposes of the application of 960 CMR 4.03(14)(c), a five-year Certificate of Deposit would be reported as unclaimed property 15 years from the date the account was opened.
- Holder Fees.
(a) In accordance with M.G.L. c. 200A, § 15C, a holder of savings/checking accounts may assess a charge or fee, including an unclaimed property processing fee, for accounts that become inactive, provided that the charge or fee is:
(b) Any charge or fee shall be listed in a holder's periodic schedule of charges and fees and shall be provided to every customer upon the opening of his/her account.
1. expressed in a valid, enforceable and written contract between the holder and the customer specifying the amount of the charge or fee;
2. the customer is notified prior to the imposition of the charge or fee; and
3. it is not the policy of the holder to waive the charge or fee.
(c) If a holder of savings/checking accounts advises a customer of an increase in a charge or fee, or the imposition of a new charge or fee, and the notice is included in a statement to a customer that is returned as undeliverable, then the financial institution shall not impose the new or higher charge or fee.
- Retention of Owner Records. Any holder who submits an unclaimed property report pursuant to M.G.L. c. 200A, § 7, and 960 CMR 4.03(1), shall maintain all owner records and other information submitted in the report for a period of six years following the remittance of the holder's records and information to the Division.