From State Controller’s Office: Businesses may hear from unclaimed property owners January 2021 Tax News

The California Unclaimed Property Law requires businesses to annually review their:

  • Books
  • Records
  • Report any property to the State Controller’s Office (SCO) when there has been no activity for a period of time (generally three years for most properties and one year for payroll). Common forms of unclaimed property include uncashed checks, payroll, commissions, customer refunds, and vendor payments.

All businesses that have unclaimed property are required to send Notice Reports to the SCO annually before November 1 (before May 1 for life insurance companies). After receiving Notice Reports for unclaimed property, SCO mails letters to owners notifying them that their property may be sent to the State if not claimed directly from the business by a certain date. These letters include contact information provided by the reporting business for the owner to claim the property.

As a result, this is a key time of year when businesses may receive calls or emails from:

  • Individuals
  • Organizations

Who have received a letter from SCO indicating their property may soon be sent to the state.

If businesses are contacted by unclaimed property owners expressing interest in their property, they should make every effort to reunite the property with the owner and not remit it to the State.

Contact the Outreach and Compliance Unit with the Unclaimed Property Division of SCO at for more information or to request one-on-one assistance with reporting unclaimed property to the state.