Take it or leave it

Did you know that the comptroller can examine your records for the last nine years and use a sample to determine how much unclaimed property you have not turned over to the state?

Unclaimed property can be several things, such as checks vendors never cash. If one of your vendors doesn’t cash your check, the funds become unclaimed property that must be remitted to the state. So the Comptroller examines for the last nine years, using sampling techniques, and sends you a bill.

What if you think she is wrong? Too bad. There is no provision in the law to allow you to contest the assessment. If you think that sounds like there is no due process, you’re right. You can refuse to pay the assessment and wait until the Attorney General sues you for payment that’s about the only way you can even get to court to contest the assessment. But if you lose, you not only have the assessment, penalties and interest, but you also get to pay the AG’s attorney fees.

Rep. Hartnett (R-Dallas) filed HB 3335, a short one pager, which allows the business faced with the unclaimed property bill to petition the comptroller for an administrative hearing. TSCPA testified in support of the bill at the House Commerce and Industry hearing this week – the committee voted the bill out on Tuesday.

Lest we forget: this same bill was filed last session and the Comptroller put a $1 million fiscal note on it. It died under that weight. This year the fiscal note says, "No significant fiscal implication to the state is anticipated." Stay tuned to see if it stays that way.

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