In New South Wales, any unclaimed money is generally held by the Revenue NSW.
Unclaimed money is generally any amount in excess of $100 held for at least 6 years without any activity on an account. This may be because the owner moved, changed their name or simply forgot about it.
Types of unclaimed money held by Revenue NSW include dividends, unpresented cheques, distributions, sale proceeds, commissions, royalties and the like.
Generally, enterprises that operate in NSW and hold unclaimed money as at 30 June in any year must submit the money to Revenue NSW by 31 October of that year, after having made reasonable attempts to contact the rightful owner and return the money to them.
Other thresholds and timeframes apply to specific industries such as real estate agents, law firms and trustee companies that operate trust accounts.
You can search for money held by Revenue NSW here.
Sometimes an employer owes wages to an employee who has left their business or where wages have found to be underpaid following a workplace audit.
Where the employee can’t be contacted, the unpaid wages are generally held by the Fair Work Ombudsman and can be searched for here.
Superannuation funds that cannot locate beneficiaries of superannuation monies place the details on the Superannuation Lost Members Register, which can be searched through the MyGov portal via Australian Taxation Office’s website here.
Banks and life insurers
Banks, credit unions and life insurance companies also have unclaimed money issues where a bank account is inactive (has no deposits or withdrawals) for 7 years or where the proceeds of a life insurance policy is unclaimed for 7 years after the policy matures.
Where they can’t locate an owner of funds held, they must lodge their unclaimed monies with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.
Unclaimed money received by ASIC is transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Revenue Fund and it is available to be claimed at any time by the rightful owner and there is no time limit on claims. ASIC’s unclaimed money search is located at ASIC’s MoneySmart website here.
For further information in relation to unclaimed money or any business related legal issues, please contact McKillop Legal on (02) 9521 2455 or email email@example.com
This information is general only and is not a substitute for proper legal advice. Please contact McKillop Legal to discuss your needs.