Handbook of Business Procedures
Nov. 30, 2009
May 16, 2014
9.2.9. UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
The Texas Comptroller’s Office is responsible for administering the Texas Unclaimed Property Program. The unclaimed property law requires financial institutions, businesses, and government entities to report any abandoned or unclaimed state personal property. Property is turned over to the Texas Comptroller's Office annually when all of the following conditions are met:
- The owner's whereabouts are unknown
- The appropriate abandonment period has expired, as defined by the Texas Comptroller's Office
- The property has been inactive on the books of the reporting company during the abandonment period
To view the state’s unclaimed property statutes, go to Texas Property Code, Title 6, Chapters 72-75.
Once unclaimed property is reported, the Texas Comptroller's Office acts only as custodian for the missing owners, holding the property in trust until it is claimed. Texas never takes legal ownership of the property, so there is no time limit for filing a claim.
The University of Texas at Austin’s unclaimed property consists of checks issued by the university that have not been cashed and unused stored value cards, such as Bevo Bucks, that have reached their abandonment period. The abandonment period is one year for payroll checks and three years for all other checks and stored value cards. When unclaimed property has met the conditions outlined above (or conditions defined by the Texas Comptroller’s Office), it is reported to the Texas Comptroller’s Office on the following February 28 and is then included in the next remittance to the state. The university’s reporting period spans from March 1 to February 28 each year, and the report and payment are due to the Texas Comptroller’s Office by July 1 of each year.
The Office of Accounting reviews unclaimed property records to look for inactive property, the last documented communication or other contact with the owner, or the last debit or credit generated by the owner on any property. If there has been contact during the applicable abandonment period, the payee is considered a known entity, and the payment is not submitted to the Texas Comptroller’s Office. Instead, the Office of Accounting shows due diligence by reissuing the payment and trying to get it to the payee.
Once unclaimed property has been submitted to the Texas Comptroller’s Office, the university is no longer able to reissue those funds to the payee. The payee must claim those funds from the Texas Comptroller's Office.
Questions can be addressed to Office of Accounting Payment Information at firstname.lastname@example.org.