With the Nov. 1 deadline to submit an Unclaimed Property Report to the State Treasurer’s Office fast approaching, the South Carolina Association of CPAs wants to assure its members that the STO offers extension solutions to make sure business owners are not penalized on the way to meeting their obligations, especially for “Negative Reporting.”

South Carolina’s Uniform Unclaimed Property Act allows that “On written request by any person required to file a report, the administrator may postpone the reporting date.” The complete text of South Carolina’s “Uniform Unclaimed Property Act” can be found here: https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t27c018.php

There is a way to report past-due property without incurring penalties, and CPAs should advise clients who have failed to report unclaimed property in the past to follow this process: Once past due property is identified, a business can request a voluntary disclosure agreement (instructions can be found here) that allows the business to report past-due property without incurring interest or penalties.

While CPAs are well aware that businesses are annually required to submit an Unclaimed Property Report to the State Treasurer’s Office by Nov. 1, the majority of business owners tend to be unaware of that deadline and what it means.

Many CPAs have been asking about an additional facet to Unclaimed Property Reporting that was initiated for this year: Even if a business has no unclaimed property to report, businesses are now required to submit a ‘Negative Report’ via the State Treasurer’s Office website.

HOW TO PLACE A ‘NEGATIVE REPORT’: The State Treasurer’s Office homepage for guidelines to the Unclaimed Properties process can be found here: https://southcarolina.findyourunclaimedproperty.com/app/reporting-guidelines

It includes a link specifically for businesses that are not holding unclaimed property so that they can file a Negative Report: https://southcarolina.findyourunclaimedproperty.com/app/holder-info

At the bottom of this short online form is an entry for “This is a Negative Report” that can be clicked “Yes/No.” Additionally, a “?” icon exists to offer the definition: “A negative report is a way for you to notify the State you do not have any unclaimed property due at this time.”

SCACPA shares the goal of the State Treasurer’s Office for all South Carolina businesses to be in full compliance of Unclaimed Property Reporting. The new 2018 requirement for businesses to file a Negative Report will be a helpful step in the years to come in making businesses aware that there is an annual obligation to have an accounting of where their records stand when it comes to Unclaimed Property.

MORE INFO: CPAs who need additional information from the State Treasurer’s Office or would like to request one of its representatives to speak at an educational session can call 803.734.6377 or email unclaimed@sto.sc.gov.