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Unclaimed Property--Delaware Offers Enhanced Voluntary Disclosure Program and Steps Up Audit Activity

DALLAS, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- New legislation that benefits the holder community has just been enacted by Delaware. House Bill 2 ("H.B. 2") was signed into law by Delaware Governor Jack A. Markell on January 30, 2013. The new law essentially provides for several key changes to the Delaware Secretary of State's unclaimed property Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) program, which was first enacted into law last summer via Senate Bill 258 ("S.B. 258"). First, H.B. 2 will allow for participation "with respect to property types or periods or both property types and periods" or "subsidiaries or related entities" that were not included in a prior VDA submission made with the Delaware Department of Finance. Note: Holders who had submitted a VDA prior to June 30, 2012 appeared ineligible to participate in the new VDA program under the provisions of S.B. 258. Thus, H.B. 2 affords a significant planning opportunity for such holders, allowing them to participate in the new VDA program and achieve current compliance for property types, report years, and legal entities, which may have been omitted from the prior VDA submission to Delaware. Second, H.B. 2 allows holders who elect to participate in the new VDA program by June 30, 2013 an additional 12 months to complete their VDA submission. For larger companies, or companies with complex structures or complex property types, the extra 12-month period to conclude the VDA represents a significant improvement over the prior legislation. In summary, the two key changes to the Delaware VDA program offer substantial improvements to the program, which benefit the holder community.

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The Delaware Department of Finance, in deference to the rollout of the new 2012 VDA program of the Delaware Secretary of State, had been temporarily withholding the issuing of any new audit notices for unclaimed property audits to allow holders an opportunity to enroll in the new Delaware VDA program. However, our understanding is that the "informal stay" ended February 1, 2013, and a number of new unclaimed property audit letters will be issued by the Department of Finance after February 1, 2013. Thus, holders with exposure in this area may want to carefully review the benefits of enrolling in the new Delaware VDA program prior to being selected for audit.

Ryan's Unclaimed Property professionals can assist in analyzing how these recent developments impact your company.

About Ryan

Ryan is an award-winning global tax services firm, with the largest indirect tax practice in North America and the sixth largest corporate tax practice in the United States. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the Firm provides a comprehensive range of state, local, federal, and international tax advisory and consulting services on a multi-jurisdictional basis, including audit defense, tax recovery, credits and incentives, tax process improvement and automation, tax appeals, tax compliance, and strategic planning. Ryan is a two-time recipient of the International Service Excellence Award from the Customer Service Institute of America (CSIA) for its commitment to world-class client service. Empowered by the dynamic myRyan work environment, which is widely recognized as the most innovative in the tax services industry, Ryan's multi-disciplinary team of more than 1,600 professionals and associates serves over 6,500 clients in 40 countries, including many of the world's most prominent Global 5000 companies. More information about Ryan can be found at www.ryan.com.

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