Unclaimed Property in Kentucky Includes Millions in Tax Refunds, Abandoned Bank Accounts, & More
The Kentucky State Treasury holds over $150,000,000 to date in unclaimed assets and money. This includes assets that have been turned over by businesses and banks after having gone unclaimed for so many years. The amount of years varies from asset to asset, but 3 is usually a norm. This money belongs to nearly 250,000 individuals and businesses. Around 1 out of 8 Kentuckians are owed money. How do people forget about money?
In some cases, they simply lose track of the money or forget about it. Sometimes checks can’t be sent to them due to an address change or divorce. And, of course, some people are owed money from relatives who have passed away. According to Mayor Jerry Abramson, there is $3.7 million worth of tax refunds owed to Louisville residents. The IRS reports that these tax refunds went undelivered due to address issues. According to Mayor Abramson, these people are “often the people who could use it (the money) the most.”
Why does so much money go undelivered to Kentuckians? Is the state (or federal government, for that matter) doing anything to inform citizens that they might have some unclaimed assets? The KY State Treasury publishes announcements in newspapers around the state, but not everyone reads newspapers these days.
Kentucky’s Unclaimed Property program began 1942, yet the state didn’t start putting any effort into finding owners until 1994, since which time $30 million has been returned. To date, the state pays out around $1.5 – $2 million a year, and still has $150,000,000 to go. On top of that $150,000,000, millions of more is accumulated annually.
Since the state lacks the resources to find all owners and return their assets to them, citizens can take matters into their own hands. Anybody who has ever lived or worked in KY can use an online search tool to find out if they have any money owed to them. They can also call the state treasury to find out whether they or a loved one is owed anything.
Mostly, the assets come in the form of intangible property, such as undelivered checks, uncashed money orders, stocks, bonds, checking accounts, etc. However, some tangible items, such as jewelry and antiques, and rare coins might also be considered unclaimed properties, especially if they were found in safe deposit boxes.
The KY State Treasury requires evidence to verify claims. The type of evidence required depends on the type of claim. For instance, a company making a claim may need to show evidence of having done businesses with the organization that turned over the property. An individual who wishes to claim an undelivered paycheck may need to show evidence of having worked at a particular company. The Unclaimed Property Division will be able to determine what type of evidence will be appropriate for a particular claim.