Our State Tax Abandoned and Unclaimed Property team is made up of experienced attorneys with the insight necessary to guide you through the rapidly evolving arena of unclaimed property. From bringing your organization into compliance, to audit defense and planning opportunities, we will be your advocate to help define, manage and minimize your company’s exposure as a holder of unclaimed property.
Solutions to Unclaimed Property Concerns
- Negotiating voluntary disclosure agreements in multiple states
- Defending multi-state unclaimed property audits against contingent fee auditors
- Preparing and updating holder policies, procedures, record retention guidelines and data security practices
- Providing privileged legal opinions and customized surveys offering direction and justification for accounting treatment, financial reporting and reserves
- Navigating the unclaimed property issues inherent in promotional and incentive programs
- Evaluating unclaimed property consequences related to unused tickets, points, services and minutes
- Advising on the status of law concerning rebate liability and strategies for recovery of damages
- Negotiating settlements with state government’s actors
- Providing trial experience developed from litigating some of the largest abandoned and unclaimed property cases of the past decade
- Providing state-by-state statutory compliance information
- Advising on transfer agents’ unclaimed property obligations specific to shareholder commerce and distributions
- Counseling national financial institution on obligations related to CDs and safe deposit boxes
- Evaluating potential exposure of debtor obligations
- Drafting and negotiating contracts relating to management of large cash funds, such as class action settlement funds
- Advising transfer agents and broker-dealers on SEC 17 Ad-17 obligations in tandem with unclaimed property obligations
- Minimizing exposure related to store credits and returns.
- Providing gift card planning recommendations
- Minimizing exposure related to pre-paid gift cards and payroll card programs
- Negotiation and recovery actions against rebate fulfillment agents
- Advising on loyalty programs and third-party administrator relationships
- Setting-up accounts receivable and payable policies and procedures
- Advising on unidentified payments and security deposits
- Managing exposure on class action settlement funds
- Structuring service relationships with multi-party arrangements
- Analyzing data for HIPAA compliance
- Providing legal opinions regarding regulatory preemption of unclaimed property reporting
- Providing guidance on privacy and data
- Identifying federal and state preemption positions
- Reviewing treatment of gas imbalance and other credit reconciliations
Mergers & Acquisitions
- Advising on unclaimed property implications for M&As, divestitures and wind-downs
- Assisting with negotiating and drafting provisions for sale agreements to address unclaimed property concerns
Given the ambiguity in the law, exposures can be large. Your decisions and work papers (and those of your consultant) may not tell the complete story, but still may be discoverable in any litigation that arises down the road…unless your key decisions are guided by an attorney and completed within the boundaries of attorney-client and work-product privilege.
Confidentiality and Data Protection
Must you (and can you) provide the Social Security numbers, confidential agreements, and financial records that the state requests? We help navigate conflicting state laws about privacy, and ensure you do not disclose more than you are permitted and required to disclose.
Complete View of Your Rights and Obligations
Can they really do that? States and third-party audit firms often take positions that may not necessarily apply to every holder’s situation, but that may inject an adversarial element into discussions about the scope of the law. Relatively little legal guidance exists on unclaimed property rules, and states have been known to construe ambiguities to benefit the coffers of the state. We can help identify what’s posturing and what are true obligations in order to inform your submission to the states.