What is unclaimed property voluntary disclosure?
Unclaimed property voluntary disclosure is a one-time program in which the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) encourages businesses, organizations, and governmental units who are not in compliance with Wisconsin unclaimed property laws to voluntarily come forward to report and remit unclaimed property without penalties. The program is available from February 1, 2022 through February 28, 2023.
The program became effective through the passing of 2021 Wis. Act 87.
How do I know if I should apply for unclaimed property voluntary disclosure?
You should apply if you have any financial asset that belongs to an individual, business, or governmental entity that has not had activity by the owner. Financial assets include payroll checks, refunds, overpayments, and money orders.
What are the benefits of the program?
Under the agreement, holders can report and remit properties without being assessed late fees or penalties. A holder is generally a business, organization, or governmental unit that is obligated to hold property subject to the unclaimed property laws (e.g., checking accounts, matured life insurance policies, refunds, uncashed payroll checks).
Who is eligible for unclaimed property voluntary disclosure?
To qualify for unclaimed property voluntary disclosure, all of the following must apply:
- You have unclaimed property to report from any of the five most recent reporting periods
- You have not been audited for unclaimed property since 7/1/2016, or received notice of an upcoming audit
- You do not have a balance on your unclaimed property holder account
What are the terms of the agreement?
Under the agreement, you must agree to the following:
- Attempt to contact owners of the property within 30 days of execution of the agreement. Notification letters must be sent to owners of properties worth $50 or more. See Appendix 3 of the Holder Report Guide for a sample notification letter.
- Within 120 days of entering into the agreement, electronically file a report and deliver property for at least the five previous reporting periods. A reporting period is July 1 through June 30. Refer to the Holder Report Guide for assistance completing your report.
- Continue to report and deliver all unclaimed property for at least four future annual reporting periods.
My principal residence is part of a farm. Can I use the entire amount of my property taxes for the credit?
No. Each legal entity must file a separate agreement.
How do I apply?
- Go to the department's unclaimed property homepage.
- Under the Holders section, select the Voluntary Disclosure Agreement Application link.
- Complete and submit the Voluntary Disclosure Agreement application.
What happens after I submit an application?
You will receive a confirmation number upon submission. Upon approval, the department will mail an executed agreement unless the applicant has previously opted to receive electronic mail in My Tax Account (MTA).
How long does the application take to be approved?
Applications can be approved as early as the next day or take as long as 30 days after submission.
What do I do after I receive an executed agreement?
You must attempt to contact the owners of the property you are holding within 30 days of an executed agreement. If the property is worth $50 or more, this contact must be via a notification letter. See Part 4.B. and Appendix 3 of the Holder Report Guide for additional information about what the letter must contain and a sample letter.
If the owner does not respond and owner activity does not occur, the property must be reported and remitted to DOR with 120 days of the executed agreement. Properties valued less than $50 must also be reported.
How do I file a holder report for the voluntary disclosure period?
You must file all properties from the voluntary disclosure period on the 2020 holder report. This will allow DOR to identify the reports that were filed as part of the voluntary disclosure agreement. All holder reports must be filed electronically using one of three secured methods. See Part 4.C. of the Holder Report Guide for additional information.
This document provides statements or interpretations of the following laws and regulations enacted as of February 22, 2022: ch. 177, Wis. Stats.
Laws enacted and in effect after this date, new administrative rules, and court decisions may change the interpretations in this document. Guidance issued prior to this date, that is contrary to the information in this document is superseded by this document, according to sec. 73.16(2)(a), Wis. Stats..
Wisconsin Department of Revenue
PO Box 8982
Madison, WI 53708-8982
Phone: (608) 264-4594