The Texas Comptroller’s office approved and paid out a record $309 million in unclaimed property during the past fiscal year. It might be worth checking out for yourself.
Since 1963, Texas has had a system in place requiring institutions, businesses, and governmental entities to report to the state any personal property that has been unclaimed for up to five years. The database is available to search online at Claim It Texas (Texas Comptroller). “Abandoned assets” that may be listed there include:
- Dividend, payroll or cashier’s checks
- Stocks, bonds or mutual fund accounts
- Utility deposits and other refunds
- Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents
- Insurance proceeds
- Mineral interest or royalty payments
- Court deposits, trust funds or escrow accounts
- Overpayments on insurance, utilities and other bills
How confident are you that you don’t have a refundable deposit, forgotten bank or retirement account, old gift card balances, or overpayments on previous residence utilities or bills that you inadvertently walked away from? Texans may be able to find additional leads on abandoned property through these resources published by the Texas State Library. There’s a nationwide database of unclaimed property to check as well: Missing Money (missingmoney.com), which is endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.
The Texas Comptroller has also announced that it will be implementing a new way to quickly return unclaimed property to owners this year — sending a check to the owner without requiring them to file a claim.
“This process was authorized by Texas House Bill 1514 in 2021 and will be limited to unclaimed properties under $5,000 that the agency reasonably believes it can link to the correct owner,” the office announced. “The Comptroller’s office has returned more than $4 billion in unclaimed property to its owners since Texas’ unclaimed property program began…The state is currently holding more than $7 billion in cash and other valuables through the program.”
Although you may receive a check in the mail once the program is implemented, there’s no need to wait if you want to head to ClaimItTexas.gov now. Who knows what kind of cash you might be able to uncover? And the best part: It’s property you already own, so there are likely no taxes due when claiming it (but feel free to contact us with specific questions as there may be exceptions).