Sign In
  • Inside Track
    February 16, 2022

    New Law Creates Unclaimed Property, Voluntary Disclosure Program

    Under new Wisconsin laws, all businesses, organizations and governmental units holding unclaimed property in Wisconsin are given the opportunity to apply for an Unclaimed Property Voluntary Disclosure Agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

    Feb. 16, 2022 – Under new Wisconsin laws (2021 Wis. Act 87), all businesses, organizations and governmental units holding unclaimed property in Wisconsin are given the opportunity to apply for an Unclaimed Property Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR).

    Unclaimed property holders can submit an application from February 1, 2022, through February 28, 2023, by following these three steps:

    1. Going to DOR's Unclaimed Property page at

    2. Under the Holder section, select the Voluntary Disclosure Agreement Application link.

    3. Complete and submit the Voluntary Disclosure Agreement application.

    Unclaimed property specialists are available to help:

    Program Details

    The voluntary disclosure program:

    • Increases awareness of requirements to report unclaimed property to DOR.

    • Helps unclaimed property holders come into compliance with the law by reporting unclaimed property to DOR without late filing fees and penalties.

    The property holder must follow requirements under the completed agreement by:

    1. First attempting to locate the property owner within 30 days;

    2. Submitting a holder report and remitting unclaimed property within 120 days;

    3. Continuing to report and deliver for at least the next four reporting periods.

    Who Must Report Unclaimed Property?

    In general, any business, organization or governmental unit that holds property or money unclaimed by the owner for a period specified by law must report and deliver that property to DOR if they are unable to contact the owner. Common unclaimed property holders include:

    • Banks
    • Businesses
    • Credit unions
    • Governments
    • Insurers
    • Mutual funds
    • Savings institutions
    • Security brokerages
    • Utilities

    What is Unclaimed Property?

    Unclaimed property is generally any financial asset belonging to another person. Common unclaimed property types include:

    • Annuities
    • Bonds
    • Checks
    • Certificates of deposit
    • Checking or savings accounts
    • Customer overpayments
    • Insurance payments or refunds
    • Life insurance policies
    • Money orders
    • Mutual funds
    • Refunds
    • Safe deposit box content
    • Stocks
    • Unclaimed loan collateral
    • Uncashed payroll checks
    • Utility security deposits

    The Unclaimed Property Holder Report Guide has a list of properties and the periods that must pass before unclaimed property is reportable to DOR.

    Connecting Owners with Property

    If a holder cannot locate the abandoned property owner, the unclaimed property program requires the holder to deliver the property to DOR.

    The Department of Revenue has the following tools to help find owners:

    • A searchable database of property and owners;

    • Advertisements online and in newspapers; and

    • Auto-matching program that unites unclaimed property holder report information to DOR tax and other available information. Many properties are paid to owners without submitting a claim.

    DOR Top-ranked in Property Returns

    The Department of Revenue is efficient at locating and returning property to rightful owners. Notable statistics include:

    • Successfully returning 65% of properties received to owners; and

    • Returning $67 million in property to owners between 2019 and 2020.

    Helping Wisconsin

    The Department of Revenue has the technology and tools to reunite owners with their property, but the agency can only do so if the property is reported and delivered to them. Getting these properties to DOR so they may be returned to their rightful owners will further strengthen the economy and help families, communities and businesses grow stronger as Wisconsin continues to recover from the pandemic.

    Helping Holders

    Reporting and delivering unclaimed property to DOR is in the holder's best interest. Businesses can get the property and debts off their financial records and focus more time doing what they do best - running their business.

    Submitted by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue

    The Challenge is $25,000–You Can Help Meet that Goal!
    If you’ve never donated to the Wisconsin Law Foundation, or if your support has waned in the past few years, now is the time to get involved or reconnect because your donation will be DOUBLED.

    Through a generous matching pledge, EVERY donation this year from individuals who have not contributed to the Foundation since 7/1/2018 will be matched, dollar for dollar, to a total of up to $25,000!

    Donate Today

    Wisconsin Law Foundation

Join the conversation! Log in to leave a comment.

News & Pubs Search

Format: MM/DD/YYYY