The Times West Virginian

Opinion

March 26, 2014

Time to get unclaimed cash from state, IRS

Can you believe that many people who are owed money and property by the state do nothing to reclaim it?

That sounds like a ridiculous statement, but it’s true. Because of that, state treasurer John Perdue’s office will publish a series of unclaimed property bulletins across the state. You may want to watch for the one appearing in the Times West Virginian sometime prior to April 10.

These bulletins are a list of approximately 13,000 rightful owners, all of whom have become disconnected from their assets. And unclaimed property is any asset — excluding real estate — from which an individual has become separated but still legally owns.

The Internal Revenue Service says that more than $3 million in federal income tax refunds for 2010 have not been claimed yet. And this is 2014. The IRS estimates that 4,100 taxpayers in the state could be owed refunds.

None of the names to be advertised have been published in any prior unclaimed property publications. Anyone whose name is published is the rightful owner of $50 or more in unclaimed assets.

“As with all the inserts we publish, we expect a great response through word of mouth and direct contact,” said Treasurer Perdue. “We’ll be waiting excitedly for that same response this time.”

MissingMoney.com is one database of governmental unclaimed property records.

Common types of unclaimed property include:

• Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents.

• Stocks, mutual funds, bonds and dividends.

• Uncashed checks and wages.

• Insurance policies, CDs, trust funds.

• Utility deposits, escrow accounts.

William Ramsey, a Harrison County man, has received two checks totaling $47,870 for unclaimed property. Those familiar with the situation say that Treasurer Perdue is very diligent in his efforts to return unclaimed money or property to its rightful owners.

Those who find their names in the bulletin may go to www.wvtreasury.com and click on the Unclaimed Property icon. There a resident may file an electronic claim or mail in a form. Electronic claims work best when the assets belong to a single owner. Not as much documentation is required in comparison to a more complicated case such as the settlement of an estate.

If the state has money owed to you, this is high time to try to get it back. For the same reason you hire that expert to prepare your taxes every year, you’ll want an expert asset detective tracking down all the lost cash and property that might be yours. It’s pretty simple: Experts do a better job and they get the job done.

There are thousands of dollars just waiting to be reclaimed. We would advise you going to seek what is yours.

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