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

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.

Upon completing this seminar, you will have a better awareness of varying state approaches to unclaimed property compliance and recent related developments. You also will be familiar with new approaches that will help minimize or avoid a potentially substantial bill for tax, interest and penalties.


Jennifer Zimmerman
Horwood Marcus & Berk, Chicago

She works with Fortune 500 companies and other multi-state corporate clients on state and local tax planning and controversies, including unclaimed property disputes.

Sonia Walwyn, Vice President, Unclaimed Property
Duff & Phelps, Chicago

She has nearly 25 years of tax advisory experience and has specific responsibility for the firm's work in abandoned and unclaimed property matters. She is a former Pennsylvania deputy state treasurer and frequent speaker on unclaimed property topics to professional and industry groups.

David Hopkinson, CEO
Abandoned Property Experts, East Lansing, Mich.

His firm works with states to recover unclaimed property. He previously worked as COO of an audit services firm, as controller for service and manufacturing companies, and for Coopers & Lybrand.


On-Demand Seminar - Audio Recording

Includes recorded streaming audio of full program plus PDF handouts.

Note: Self-study CPE and EA credits are not offered on this On-Demand webinar.

On-Demand Seminar Audio $247.00

How does this work?

Recorded Event

Includes full event recording plus handouts.

Note: Self-study CPE and EA credits are not offered on recorded events.

Recorded Webinar Download $247.00

How does this work?

Recorded Audio Download (MP3) $247.00

How does this work?


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Customer Reviews

The seminar gave a nice overview with speakers from different disciplines.

Glenn Herman

O'Connor Davies

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Real life examples that we could relate to.  Keep up the great work.

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Rich Prem

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