For more than 100 companies, checking and reviewing the mail within the next 30 days is critical to avoiding a third-party contingent fee unclaimed property audit from the State of Delaware. On February 20, 2020, Delaware’s Secretary of State mailed invitations to over 100 companies encouraging participation in the state’s Unclaimed Property Voluntary Compliance Program (VDA). Under Delaware’s law, the state cannot initiate an unclaimed property audit until a company is afforded the opportunity to participate in the state’s VDA. However, the invitation to participate has a short window. Companies receiving invitations have 60 days from the date of the letter to request enrollment in the State’s program. Failure to respond within the 60-day timeframe will result in audit notices from Delaware’s Department of Finance to be conducted by third-party contingent fee audit firms.
To confirm whether your company received a VDA invitation, it is imperative that the mail for all C-suite occupants be diligently reviewed to ensure that invitations are not overlooked or disregarded as junk mail, and more importantly, that responses are provided to the Delaware Secretary of State within the 60-day time frame. If this deadline is missed, there are no exceptions, exemptions or rationale to avoid audits.
Duff & Phelps is experienced in guiding companies through the VDA process and is well versed in the state’s laws and regulations that govern unclaimed property compliance, but more importantly, in achieving the full benefits of the VDA program. We encourage all companies that receive Delaware Secretary of State invitations to contact our Delaware Unclaimed Property Consulting team for a complimentary consultation.