Unclaimed Property: Basics and New Developments

Fall 2012

Publication| Tax

According to the Delaware Division of Corporations’ website, more than 980,000 business entities are currently formed under Delaware law, including more than half of all publicly traded U.S. companies and more than 63 percent of the Fortune 500.   

This status as the preferred jurisdiction of formation has provided Delaware with a generous source of revenue for many a decade in the form of corporate franchise taxes, as well as the resulting economic impact from the legion of gainfully employed Delaware legal professionals advising these entities

Over the last decade and a half, this status also has yielded Delaware with another significant source of annual revenue in the form of “unclaimed property.” During the fiscal year 2011, the $427.9 million of unclaimed property received by the State of Delaware represented more than 12 percent of the state’s total revenues. The Delaware Economic and Financial Council (DEFAC) projects that percentage to increase to more than 15 percent for fiscal year 2013.

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