In Mississippi, all things relating to unclaimed property are handled by the Unclaimed Property Division of the Mississippi Treasury Department.
- As a business owner, this will be the agency to contact if you possess unclaimed property (unpaid wages, for example). Remember that you are subject to both reporting requirements and the obligation to turn over abandoned property to the state.
- It is also the point of contact if you believe that you may have knowingly, or unknowingly, abandoned property (for example, failing to get back a security deposit, didn't receive a tax refund).
Mississippi businesses have a number of responsibilities concerning unclaimed property. Initially, written notice must be sent to the apparent owner of the unclaimed property, if known. If the property remains unclaimed, businesses have a number of filing and reporting requirements to fulfill. Most importantly, businesses are required to turn over any and all unclaimed property to the state. Stiff penalties apply to businesses who fail to comply with any of these requirements.
Individuals should know that Mississippi property is generally presumed abandoned if it has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after it became payable or distributable. However, this time limit varies depending on the type of property involved. Once abandoned property is turned over to the state by a business, an individual then has the burden of reclaiming it from the state.
Reporting Unclaimed Property in Mississippi
In Mississippi, a holder of property presumed abandoned must file a verified report containing information required by the State Treasurer concerning the property. The report is due every third year on or before November 1, as of June 30 of the previous year. The holder may file a written request for postponement of the reporting date.
Prior notice to owner. If the holder knows the whereabouts of the owner, the holder must, before filing the report, attempt to contact the owner and take reasonable steps to prevent abandonment from being presumed. Mailing a notice to the owner's last known address is sufficient compliance with this requirement.
Delivery. Abandoned property must be delivered or remitted to the State Treasurer at the same time as the filing of the report, unless prior thereto the owner proves that he has a right to receive the abandoned property. In the case of stocks, dividends, interest and other distributions, a duplicate certificate or other evidence of ownership
may be issued in lieu of delivery of the actual property.
Recordkeeping. Mississippi has no specific recordkeeping requirements for businesses reporting unclaimed property to the state.
Penalties. The penalty for willfully failing to render a report or to perform other required duties is $5 per day of violation (up to a maximum of $100). The penalty for willfully failing to pay or deliver property to the Treasurer is a fine of not less than $5 or more than $100, or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both. In addition, interest at one percent per month may be charged.
Claiming Unclaimed Property in Mississippi
In Mississippi, property is generally presumed abandoned if it has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after it became payable or distributable. However, this time limit varies depending on the type of property involved. Once abandoned property is turned over to the state by a business, an individual then has the burden of reclaiming it from the state.
Locating abandoned property held by the state. Unclaimed property held by the state may be found by searching the state's website (http://www.treasury.state.ms.us/Unclaimed/).
To find out if other states may be holding your unclaimed property, search the national database established by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA).
Filing a claim. A person claiming an interest in any property paid or delivered as abandoned property may file a claim with the Treasurer, who may hold a hearing and receive evidence concerning the claim before rendering a decision.
To file your claim:
- print the Treasurer's Unclaimed Property Claim Form ;
- complete the form per the instructions on the form;
- include the Property Identification number;
- have your completed form notarized; and
- mail your completed, notarized form to the address indicated on the form.
A person dissatisfied with a decision of the Treasurer or whose claim was not acted upon within 90 days after the filing date may, within 30 days after the decision of the Treasurer or 60 days after filing the claim not acted upon, appeal to the circuit court of the first judicial district of Hinds County, Mississippi.
Mississippi Unclaimed Property Resources
If you're looking for additional information on unclaimed property, we recommend contacting your state's governmental agency that oversees the administration of this area of the law. For help in answering a specific unclaimed property question in Mississippi, contact the following:
Mississippi Treasury Department
Unclaimed Property Division
P.O. Box 138
Jackson, MS 39205-0138
Phone: (601) 359-3600
Fax: (601) 359-2001