Unclaimed Property Audit Strategies: Responding to Latest Developments

Sharpening Compliance and Planning as States Aggressively Pursue Additional Revenue

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, January 12, 2012

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This teleconference will provide tax executives and advisors with an overview of the growing risk of unclaimed property audits. The panel will provide insights to sharpen compliance and audit planning and conduct in this area.


Financially struggling states continue to devote more resources to unclaimed property audits, in anticipation of high returns. Companies may not realize the potential exposure of rolling uncashed vendor checks, unused gift cards, or abandoned escrows or other deposits into income.

Businesses may be willing to risk a state audit. Still, state tax professionals must prepare for the unique nature of these exams and stay abreast of recent developments with unexpired Groupon-type coupons, ramped-up exams of securities, and related corporate and class action litigation.

Documentation standards are quite different from other taxes. Common errors—such as failing to report all types of financial assets or overlooking those from third-party contracts—must be avoided. Tax executives must track favorable or unfavorable unclaimed property laws.

Listen as our panel of experienced state tax professionals gives the reality of unclaimed property audits and offers proven strategies to help your company better prepare for audits and improve future compliance.



  1. Examples of state laws, compliance and rulings in unclaimed property
    1. Which states have more aggressive laws or more draconian penalties
      1. Delaware considers shortening audit period
      2. Corporate challenges from American Express, Staples, others
      3. Other examples
  2. Related current developments
    1. Issues arising from Groupon-style online coupons
    2. Tougher exams on securities and insurance products
  3. Common taxpayer mistakes with unclaimed property
    1. Not reporting all property types or in all jurisdictions
    2. Folding property back into income
    3. Not considering reporting obligations arising from third-party contracts
    4. Using inappropriate dormancy triggers
    5. Other examples
  4. Common red flags drawing states' attention
    1. Where the company is incorporated or domiciled
    2. Decentralization of company books and records
    3. Conducting business in numerous states but reporting property to one or a few
    4. Other examples
  5. Audit tactics to expect during unclaimed property exams
    1. How a revenue agency will behave vs. a third-party audit firm
  6. Best practices for the taxpayer during the unclaimed property audit
  7. Documentation improvements to undertake going forward


The panel will explore these and other relevant topics:

  • Categories of property that cause the biggest headaches—those that corporate taxpayers know well and those you might not expect.
  • Common mistakes companies make in their compliance—and how to correct them now.
  • Best practices to prepare for your next unclaimed property audit.
  • Tactics to anticipate from a third-party auditor hired by the state revenue department.

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Jennifer Zimmerman
Jennifer Zimmerman

Horwood Marcus & Berk

She works with Fortune 500 companies and other multi-state corporate clients on state and local tax planning and...  |  Read More

Walwyn, Sonia
Sonia Walwyn

Duff & Phelps

Ms. Walwyn is a director in the Chicago office and part of the Tax Services practice with specific oversight...  |  Read More

David Hopkinson
David Hopkinson
Abandoned Property Experts

His firm works with states to recover unclaimed property. He previously worked as COO of an audit services firm, as...  |  Read More

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