MADISON — In the past two months, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue delivered about $1.89 million in unclaimed property checks to 292 matched claimants as part of its property matching program.
Through the program, DOR mailed 750 Notice of Unclaimed Property letters in March to claimants it matched with property worth more than $2,000. The letters informed claimants of the property in their name with instructions on how to claim it. Also during this time, DOR mailed $3.3 million in checks automatically to more than 32,000 claimants matched with property worth $2,000 or less.
"We are encouraged by the property matching program's effectiveness and the response we've received to these letters so far," said Department of Revenue Secretary Peter Barca. Of the 750 letters mailed in March, 450 remain unanswered leaving about $3.5 million in matched property still unclaimed.
"Our hope is that matched claimants continue to respond to the letters, and we encourage everyone to take a moment to check and see if they are among the unmatched claimants with unclaimed property," said Barca.
Unmatched claimants are those DOR has a name for as a potential property owner but lacks all necessary information to verify the match. Matches are often made when people search the DOR website for unclaimed property. The unclaimed property search process takes seconds and is available to everyone. Once DOR verifies a search match, it mails a check to the property owner.
In June 2015, DOR launched the matching program. It makes the process more efficient and benefits those taxpayers unaware they have unclaimed property.
Unclaimed property includes funds from savings or checking accounts, uncashed dividends, insurance policies, or other accounts that the owner may be unaware of or forgotten. Banks, credit unions, insurance companies and other businesses must report unclaimed property to DOR each year by Nov. 1. The property is held by DOR for safe keeping until the owner claims it.