We're improving the way we process unclaimed money as part of the next stage of our Business Transformation. The changes will make it easier for people or organisations who hold unclaimed money (holders) to manage it. They will also allow us to better identify the rightful owners. Some changes are dependent on legislation which is not expected to pass until March 2021.
Changes that will apply from 1 March:
- Holders will be able to submit schedules, pay unclaimed money and view previously submitted details online, through myIR.
- If you’re a holder organisation and you have provided your IRD number for processing unclaimed money, the new ‘Unclaimed money holder’ account will automatically be created in your myIR account from 1 March
- You can send your IRD number to email@example.com to make sure the account will be automatically added
- New holders will need to register for an ‘Unclaimed money holder’ account in myIR in order to submit schedules online
- You may need to set up myIR access for others in your organisation, so they can process unclaimed money
- Intermediaries such as tax agents or bookkeepers will be able to link to the unclaimed money account in myIR of the organisation that holds unclaimed money. This will allow them to view unclaimed money details and file on behalf of their clients.
Changes dependent on legislation that is expected to pass soon (April 2021):
- The length of time funds are held before becoming ‘unclaimed’ will change. All funds held by organisations may be deemed unclaimed after 5 years, instead of the current 6 or 25 years. Money that crosses the 5-year threshold after 1 April would need to be filed within 3 months
- For money between 6 and 25 years, there will be a 2-year transitional period to help shift to the new timeframe. The transitional period will allow you time to identify money that will become unclaimed in 5 years that would otherwise have been left until 6 or 25 years had passed
- Holder organisations may need to provide more customer information, if they have it, which will be used to help claimants identify which money is theirs. This could include a previous address or an address that had been flagged as invalid, account/reference numbers and date of birth.
- Holder organisations will need to submit unclaimed money schedules more regularly (at a minimum quarterly, but only if they have unclaimed money to send to us), and payments must be made at the same time. The first quarterly due date will be 30 June with schedules and payments due by 20 July.
- Currently, there’s a requirement for holders to send a letter to their customers last known address and to maintain a publicly accessible register. These requirements may be removed as long as a reasonable effort has already been made to contact the customer.
More details about these changes will be available soon.