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N.B. Businesses Must Report Unclaimed Monetary Property

By Brad Perry Jan 23, 2023 | 11:19 AM

It is time for New Brunswick businesses to start reporting unclaimed monetary property they are holding on to.

New Brunswick’s Unclaimed Property Act came into force just over a year ago on Jan. 1, 2022.

It requires holders of unclaimed property – like businesses, associations, and government organizations – to review their books and search for money belonging to someone else.

Over the past year, businesses were required to review their books for unclaimed property valued at $100 or more and try to locate the owners ot return the money to them.

If the owner cannot be located, the holder must report and deliver the money to New Brunswick’s Unclaimed Property Program, which is administered by the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB).

Erin Toole, director of unclaimed property at FCNB, said the first deadline for businesses to report and remit to the program is March 31.

“For holders of unclaimed monetary property, the first reporting period marks a positive milestone. Reporting and delivering to the program removes the burden of carrying this money on their books,” Toole said in a news release.

Unclaimed property is money and other “monetary property” held by a person, business, or other entity that has been abandoned or forgotten by its owner.

Examples are things like overpayments, refunds, uncashed cheques, and security deposits. Unclaimed property also includes any amounts payable under a life insurance contract, deposits in a provincially regulated financial institution (like a credit union), and trust deposits for real estate transactions.

Money can end up as unclaimed property for several reasons, many of them more common than you might think.

According to FCNB, it can be as easy as someone leaving a job but never returning to receive their last paycheque, or if someone receives cheques they did not cash.

Often, it is as easy as someone opening and depositing money in credit union accounts and forgetting about it. It may also be something a person had no prior knowledge of, like having a relative pass away and leaving an estate to heirs that were never located.

New Brunswickers who receive written notice from a business – either by email or letter – are encouraged to contact the business to claim the money.

Once the program is fully in place, you will be able to search FundsFinderNB.ca for free to see if you have any forgotten monetary property.

“Before we can get this money back to its rightful owners, we need the holders to report and remit,” said Toole.

The website offers three different electronic reporting methods for businesses depending on how many separate pieces of property they need to report.

You can find more information about the Unclaimed Property Program on FCNB’s website.

With files from Tyler Mclean


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