Have you ever lived in Arizona? If so, there is a one in seven chance that some portion of unclaimed money belongs to you! The Arizona Department of Revenue is currently holding over one BILLION dollars in unclaimed property belonging to over one million people, which means Arizona could be holding missing money that rightfully belongs to you or a family member (if they have ever lived in Arizona). According to the Arizona Department of Revenue, unclaimed property includes items such as tax refunds or checks that have not been cashed, interest dividends from savings or investment accounts with Arizona addresses, customer overpayments, state warrants, or other securities.
How does unclaimed money become “unclaimed?” Assets become unclaimed for a variety of reasons, and each type of property has a different “dormancy period,” or amount of time that money goes unclaimed before it has to be turned over to the state. According to the Arizona Department of Revenue, there are several reasons why property becomes unclaimed including but not limited to:
- Businesses lose track of owners due to a change of address.
- Owner may have forgotten about the asset and failed to notify the business of his new address.
- Property becomes abandoned due to the death of the owner.
- The decedent’s family is often times not aware of these assets.
- Other assets become unclaimed property because of a custodial relationship experienced as a minor child. Parents establish accounts in the name(s) of minor children, and then forget about the accounts. The children are usually unaware of them until:
- Accounts are advertised on the Internet.
- A claim form is received.
- Stock splits and other securities transactions account for a large portion of unclaimed property.
- Property is lost due to business dissolution or merger.
- Customers will overpay on their accounts, or send remittances with no indication as to which account the payment applies.
- These credit balances are often times just left on the books of companies.
- Checks have been lost in the mail or put in a drawer and forgotten.
To help past and present residents of Arizona find unclaimed money, the Arizona Department of Revenue contracts several auditing firms to find unclaimed property that has not been turned over to the state. In most instances, the majority of unclaimed property is in the form of life insurance policies that have not been paid out to the correct beneficiary of the policy. In other instances, these auditors will find annuities that should have been transferred to an heir, but instead a financial services company is still holding the asset and collecting a fee for managing the money. By law, the state cannot take ownership of unclaimed property, and therefore holds the money until the rightful owner claims it.
Wondering if you or one of your family members has unclaimed property in Arizona? Search your records now!
Arizona Department of Revenue
1600 W Monroe
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2650
Phone: 602-364-0380 or 877 492-9957