$10.4 Million in unclaimed property matched to rightful owners

Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 2:41 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is sending $3.9 million to unclaimed property owners in March, and for many, the delivery of a check will come as a surprise.

The DOR annually matches tax records against the state’s unclaimed property roll. If the DOR can definitively match tax records to an owner on the unclaimed property roll, the agency sends out checks automatically for those owed property valued at $2,000 or less and will send letters to those owed property valued at greater than $2,000 explaining how to claim the property.

This year’s matching program has identified 34,078 unclaimed property owners and will be sending $3.9 million in refund checks to over 33,000 of them. The remaining taxpayers will be receiving letters explaining to them how to claim their over $6.5 million in unclaimed property that is simply waiting for them.

All told, the DOR has matched $10.4 million in unclaimed property to tax records via this year’s annual matching process.

This year’s first round of checks and letters will be hitting mailboxes within the week. Those receiving a check will receive a “Notice of Claim Refund for Unclaimed Property.” Taxpayers can immediately cash those checks. If a taxpayer has questions about the validity of their check, they can use the “Check Your Claim Status” page on the DOR’s website to confirm.

For those taxpayers with unclaimed property valued at over $2,000 or tangible property, such as safe deposit box contents, they will be receiving an “Action Required: Notice of Unclaimed Property” letter that explains how to claim their property. The most convenient way for these taxpayers to claim their property is to use the DOR’s My Tax Account website dedicated to responding to a Notice of Unclaimed Property.

There is never a fee that unclaimed property owners must pay to the Wisconsin DOR to claim unclaimed property. If a taxpayer receives an unsolicited letter offering to reunite them with their property for a fee, the taxpayer should disregard the letter and visit the DOR’s website to gain definitive information on whether they have unclaimed property waiting for them.

Unclaimed property includes funds from savings or checking accounts, uncashed dividends, insurance policies, or other accounts that the owner may be unaware of or have forgotten. Banks, credit unions, insurance companies, and other businesses must report unclaimed property to the DOR each year by Nov. 1. The DOR then holds the property for safekeeping until the owner claims it.