Department of Revenue enables Washingtonians to search for unclaimed cash

September 18, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 18, 2011

The state Department of Revenue returned unclaimed property to a record 108,441 claimants during the 2011 fiscal year, due in part to a sharp increase in businesses reporting unclaimed property to the state.

The number of individuals claiming property during the same period increased by more than 10,000 from the previous fiscal year. Individuals claimed $46.5 million in the fiscal year ending June 30.

Revenue Director Suzan DelBene said the number of businesses reporting unclaimed property increased substantially over the past decade, from fewer than 5,000 to more than 26,000. The director attributed publicity and continuing educational efforts to the increase in reporting.

Unclaimed property includes unclaimed paychecks, utility deposits, bank accounts, uncashed refunds, life insurance proceeds, stocks and bonds, and contents from safe deposit boxes.

During the past fiscal year, the Department of Revenue added 750,000 names and a record $102.5 million to the searchable online database of unclaimed property. The database contains more than 3 million names and $821 million.

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