A holder of unclaimed money is a person or organisation with funds, or money in accounts for owners they cannot find. The money can be owned by a person, organisation, client or customer.
Under the Act, money is only unclaimed if the amount is more than $100 for any one owner. For amounts under $100 you have two choices. You can send it to us or you can keep it - if you can use it for another purpose before 1 June each year.
If you keep money under $100, you will need to consider how to treat it for tax purposes. You also should know that keeping it does not affect any claim an owner may have with you for repayment.
Any amounts under $100 that you have not used by 1 June each year, is unclaimed money that you must pass to us if you cannot find the owner.
Our Public Rulings BR Pub 17/01 - BR Pub 17/02 cover Income tax - treatment of unclaimed amounts of $100 or less and the treatment of unclaimed amounts of $100 or less held on trust.
Money covered by the Unclaimed Money Act 1971
Most money becomes unclaimed under the Act if the owner cannot be found after 6 years. The following types become unclaimed after 25 years, money in:
- an account that pays interest and does not have an end date
- a fixed term account that has carried on past the end date
- a current savings bank account that does not pay interest.
If you have unclaimed money to send to us
- By 1 June each year identify all unclaimed money and try to contact the owner.
- By 31 October make a payment and send us a schedule of the owners' details along with the bank account details you made the payment from.
Changes for unclaimed money
In March 2021, we'll be improving the way we process unclaimed money as part of the next stage of our Business Transformation. The changes will make it easier for organisations who hold unclaimed money to manage it and allow us to better identify the rightful owners.