Not sure what unclaimed property is? Check out the unclaimed property process first.
Does my organization need to submit unclaimed property?
If you or your organization has money that belongs to someone else, but the owner hasn’t accessed the money or communicated with you about it in a long time, you may be a holder of unclaimed property.
What is a holder?
A holder is a company, government body, organization or individual that holds money for an owner. When the owner doesn’t access the money for a long period, that money becomes “unclaimed property”. The Unclaimed Property Act and Unclaimed Property Regulation are laws in BC that set out what holders have to do with unclaimed property. Holders have to make reasonable efforts to locate the owner and notify them about the property. They also have to maintain a publicly available database of the unclaimed property they hold.
In BC’s unclaimed property law, there are two types of holders: Mandatory and Voluntary.
Mandatory holders are required by BC law to transfer unclaimed property to the administrator of BC’s unclaimed property program. BC Unclaimed has been the administrator of this program since 2003.
Real estate agencies
Voluntary holders can choose whether or not to transfer unclaimed property to BC Unclaimed. They are not required by law to transfer their unclaimed property to BC Unclaimed, but can still benefit from doing so.
Closed pension plans
Reasons to submit unclaimed property
Your organization can benefit from submitting unclaimed property to BC Unclaimed, whether or not you are required to do so. You also benefit both individuals and communities in BC when you submit unclaimed funds! Read on to learn more:
Consider some significant reasons to submit unclaimed property to BC Unclaimed.
Unclaimed property belongs to someone else
Returning unclaimed property to its owner is the right thing to do. Even when you’ve made your best effort to contact the rightful owner, you may not be able to locate them.
BC Unclaimed has systems already in place to reunite unclaimed funds with rightful owners, and we proactively search out owners.
BC Unclaimed maintains and advertises a publicly available online database of unclaimed property from many different sources.
BC Unclaimed attracts individuals to search for unclaimed property by advertising our free, searchable database to the public.
Compliance with the law
Mandatory holders are required by law to submit unclaimed property to BC Unclaimed after a period of time.
Get unclaimed funds off your books
Transferring unclaimed property to BC Unclaimed helps you maintain accurate and up-to-date financial records, and reduces accounting effort.
Reduce administrative load
The law says that holders have to make reasonable efforts to locate and notify owners of unclaimed property. This includes maintaining a database of unclaimed property and making it available to the public. Transferring unclaimed funds to BC Unclaimed reduces the time and money your organization has to spend administering this property.
Support charities in BC
BC Unclaimed manages unclaimed funds in a way that allows us to make a significant contribution to the Vancouver Foundation every year. The Vancouver Foundation supports charities and not-for-profits delivering services for the benefit of British Columbians.
Read about our relationship with the Vancouver Foundation.