The Indiana Unclaimed Property Act requires that businesses annually (by November 1 for most companies) report and deliver assets that they hold, and for which they cannot locate the owner, to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General (OAG). Failure to report and deliver property can result in steep penalties and interest.

The OAG is offering a one-time only Amnesty Program for businesses to come into compliance with the state unclaimed property law without incurring the interest and penalties. After the amnesty period, which expires November 1, 2010, the OAG will expand its audit procedures.

The Amnesty Program is a great opportunity for any businesses that might be out of compliance with Indiana unclaimed property obligations. All companies that have distributed checks that have not been cashed, or are in possession of any other property that might be presumed abandoned by the apparent owner, may be at risk of noncompliance. Frequently, businesses are unaware that they are out of compliance and may need assistance determining their exposure to unclaimed property liability. Upon ascertaining their exposure, these businesses should decide whether the Amnesty Program would be beneficial, and work with the OAG according to the Amnesty procedures it establishes to obtain any benefits.

Whether a business participates in the Amnesty Program or not, its current unclaimed property compliance procedures should be reviewed ahead of the OAG's increased audit effort, and consideration should be given to creation and implementation of new programs or procedures.