It’s been several years since California changed their reporting process, yet many holders are still confused. I’d like to help clear things up.
Most states have one filing due date each year, where you send a list of lost owners and payment for the amount you are reporting. California has a cycle that includes 2 different reports.
Step 1: Holder Notice Report (aka Preliminary Report)
The first report is known as the Holder Notice report. This is where you send the detail about the lost owners to the state. You do not send payment with the Holder Notice report. The purpose of this report is to provide the state with the information they’ll need to perform their own notifications.
When you send this report, it is important not to update your records as being paid to the state yet. They need to remain in your list of open (current) records. For UPExchange users, these records will show a status of ‘L’ which means ‘Reported on Preliminary’.
Step 2: Update Records for Owners California Locates
When your lost owners respond to you based on California’s pre-escheat notice and submit a claim to you, it is important to update the records in your reporting system. You will mark each record to show it has been paid to the owner when you return the value of the property back to the owner. For UPExchange users, the status will need to be updated to ‘Paid to Owner’.
Step 3: Due Diligence for Next Report cycle
Due diligence for the next year is due before the remit report. This can be confusing but there’s no need to worry. When you run your letters for the next reporting cycle, the system will ignore those property records that have already been reported to the state on the previous holder notice report.
California will let you know when it is time to send remittance and the Holder Remit Report for the owners who have still not claimed their property from you. A reporting reminder will be mailed to the person listed as your ‘Report Contact’. You will need to send the detail for the remaining owners and send payment at this time.
The remit report must not include records that were not on the holder notice report. If you have filed the holder notice report and you have new California records come in, you must submit the new records in a separate filing. This will start a separate cycle of holder notice then remit report.
Report Due Dates
Many holders file late and don’t adhere to the normal due dates. This makes it harder to keep tabs on when the different reports are due.
If you file in a timely manner, you can always expect to submit the reports on the following dates:
Life Insurance Companies file the Holder Notice report by April 30th then file the Remit Report between December 1st and 15th.
All other holders file the Holder Notice report by October 31st then file the Remit Report between June 1st and 15th.
You can view California’s General Reporting Quick Guide here.
You can view the complete Unclaimed Property Holder Handbook here.