13) This Note will begin by explaining the history and development of escheat law, from its common-law origins in England to its modern evolution in the United States.
18) After early American colonists broke off from the Crown, the newly-formed federal government did not assert similar claims to escheat property.
Because of the somewhat oblique nature (and relatively low enforcement) of escheat laws, a CPA might not think it necessary to perform an escheat analysis during a financial statement engagement.
During the planning phase of an engagement, CPAs should document the risks that the client, as a holder, must escheat certain property to the state.
In the long term, gift card breakage can enhance the bottom line of the retailer--or state treasuries--depending on how the retailer's gift card program is structured and the escheat laws of the states in which it operates.
The stated purpose of escheat laws is to unite lost or abandoned property with its rightful owner.
Gift certificates, payroll checks, electronic gift cards, security deposits, mineral rights and royalties are among a plethora of property types now subject to escheat in various jurisdictions.
4) That case involved competing claims between those states for the right to escheat hundreds of millions of dollars of unclaimed dividends and interest held by brokerages and other financial intermediaries for beneficial owners with unknown addresses.
New Jersey's escheat priority rules in the face of vigorous state challenges.
New Jersey is extended to noncorporate holders (such as LLCs and limited partnerships) it seems the better approach would award the secondary right to escheat to the state of the holder's organization--without regard to any concept of "domicile.
While the escheat
laws were of concern primarily only to banks, insurance companies and brokerage firms at one time, today industries as diverse as entertainment, health care, retail/distribution, airlines, transportation and oil and gas can come under the scrutiny of states' unclaimed property administrators.
The two most notable legislative trends over the past several years are (i) the increasing number of states that are exempting gift certificates, gift cards, and other retail payment and loyalty products from their escheat
laws, and (ii) the very recent adoption by a number of states of a business-to-business (B2B) exemption.