All Victorian businesses and trustees must lodge unclaimed money annually.
Know your obligations
Unclaimed money is any amount of $20 or more that is legally payable to an owner but has remained unpaid for 12 months or more as at 1 March of the current year.
Principal and interest must be treated as one sum for the purposes of determining whether an amount meets the $20 threshold.
An amount is not unclaimed money if a business knows or has reason to believe that the owner wishes for the business to continue holding that amount. This includes amounts held on trust.
A business is not required to pay an amount of unclaimed money to us if the amount (principal and interest) legally payable to an owner is less than $20.
However, a business may elect to aggregate those amounts and pay them to us, as long as each of the amounts is legally payable to the same owner and has remained unpaid for 12 months or more as at 1 March of the current year.
If reasonable expenses are to be deducted from an amount which results in the net amount falling under $20, then the amount is not required to be lodged with the SRO.
Create a register by 31 March each year
Businesses have a number of responsibilities in relation to unclaimed money. By 31 March of each year, a business with unclaimed money must:
- Create a register of all unclaimed money, and
- Enter details of all amounts of unclaimed money held at 1 March into this register
The register must be accompanied by supporting documents and contain the following details of unclaimed money as of March 1:
- Name of owner
- Address line 1
- Address line 2
- Address line 3
- Date of birth
- Business reference
- Gross amount
- Reasonable expenses
- Date payable
Businesses must submit the register as an electronic data file, either a comma delimited text file (.CSV) or a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Each of the above itemised matters should be a column heading within the electronic file. A general register template is available for your use.
Details for each of the individual amounts must be recorded in the register. If reasonable expenses are deducted, they must be allocated against the legal owner in the column of the same name.
Lodge and pay by 31 May
By 31 May each year, a business with unclaimed money must:
- Complete the online statement of compliance,
- Attach the electronic data file (the register) of all unclaimed money up to 1 March to the statement (instructions on how to do this are in the statement),
- Submit the online compliance statement with the register attached, and
- Pay the net amount of all unclaimed money (total amounts, less reasonable expenses) held on March 1. Payment can be either by:
- a cheque made payable to the Registrar of Unclaimed Money, or
- an EFT payment, including the business name and lodgement receipt number in the payment description
When you submit the compliance statement, you will be issued with an online lodgement receipt.
If you pay by EFT, you must email this receipt to email@example.com. This is important as it enables us to match your payment and lodgement.
If you pay by cheque, both the cheque and online lodgement receipt must be forwarded to:
State Revenue Office Victoria
GPO BOX 1641
Melbourne VIC 3001
A business must keep records to confirm the information on the register for at least five years after the date of lodgement. Copies of these documents must be available for inspection by us on request.
We have the authority to issue an assessment where a business fails to pay unclaimed money. Failure to lodge and pay on time may result in interest and penalties.